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Computing pioneer Alan Turing gets royal pardon

Enigma programmer was jailed for being a homosexual
Tue Dec 24 2013, 09:51
Alan Turing was born in 1912 and hearlded as the father of modern computing

CODE-BREAKING COMPUTING GENIUS Alan Turing has finally been pardoned for the conviction for homosexuality that led him to take his own life.

Turing campaigners have been fighting for this for years, and the news has been warmly welcomed.

Twitter lit up with celebratory messages after news of the pardon broke. At its heart is the widely shared document that grants the pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Queen.

That was backed and pushed along by justice minister Chris Grayling, and today the MP welcomed the news.

"Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind. His brilliance was put into practice at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, where he was pivotal to breaking the Enigma code, helping to end the war and save thousands of lives. His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed," he said.

"Dr Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

The pardon has looked fairly likely over the past year, and in October the House of Lords approved a motion that supported it. That motion was supported by Lib Dem Lord John Sharkey.

Sharkey welcomed the progress, saying at the time, "With the passing of my bill at committee stage yesterday, we edged a step closer to granting Alan Turing the free pardon he so clearly deserves. I hope my bill now becomes law and we can acknowledge the debt we owe to him."

Now Turing has been pardoned his campaigners will have their eyes on another prize: putting his face on British currency. The campaign to put Turing on a tenner will have had a nice Christmassy bump. µ


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