No Pardon for Turing

Despite the 20,000+ collected signatures, the British House of Lords has dismissed the motion to pardon Alan Turing:

“A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence,” said Justice Minister Lord McNally.

As often, the most lucid analysis comes from… Dan Savage:

It was a crime in Switzerland during the Second World War for Swiss citizens help German Jews who were fleeing the Nazis—indeed, “the law at the time required a prosecution” of any Swiss citizen who helped a Jewish refugee escape from Germany: (…) In January of 2004 the Swiss government pardoned Jakob Spirig and all other Swiss citizens who had been prosecuted for helping Jews escape Nazi Germany: (…) Question for the House of Lords: Did the Swiss government err when it pardoned Jakob Spirig? Or did you err by not pardoning Alan Turing?

2012 marks the centenary of Turing’s birth. Maybe we should try again in 2040 ?

2 thoughts on “No Pardon for Turing

  1. What can I say ? …. seriously ?
    Was it a matter of (personal) pride ? What can I call it ?
    He just found an arguably “reasonable” argument not to take the action. My hunch is that he does care about (Mr. or Dr. ? What’s the matter, here ? ) what Alan Turing’s sexual orientation was. By his final judgment, I would even wonder if he didn’t mean that the over 23,000 people are ignorant. Yet, how is his statement fairer or, let’s say, more tenable than the former Minister’s ? The common sense says, from my humble standpoint, there would be no harm in giving the posthumous, (too late) rightful pardon.

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