Feeds

New Turing petition calls for criminal pardon

Originator of original government apology petition describes move as a 'mistake'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A petition for the UK government to pardon computer pioneer Alan Turing for his criminal conviction for homosexuality has attracted more than 6,000 signatures.

The latest e-petition is different from the successful petition two years ago calling on the British Government asking to apologise for its persecution of Alan Turing over his homosexuality. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown formally apologised in September 2009, describing Turing's treatment as "appalling".

However John Graham-Cumming, the British programmer who originated the original petition, is not supporting the criminal pardon petition because he believes to pardon only Turing would be unjust to other men convicted of the same consensual sexual acts, among other reasons explained in a blog post here. He describes the latest e-petition as a "mistake".

"I am strongly opposed to pardoning Turing for three reasons: the main one of which is that to pardon Turing would actually create injustice," Graham-Cumming told El Reg. "You either pardon all the gay men convicted (including, most importantly, those that are still living with criminal convictions) or you do nothing."

"If you pardon Turing alone then it does nothing for those people who must live with a conviction for these past crimes," he added.

The petition (text below) to the Justice Department expresses the hope that a posthumous pardon for Turing "may act as an apology to many of the other gay men, not as well known as Alan Turing, who were subjected" to the same laws.

We ask the HM Government to grant a pardon to Alan Turing for the conviction of 'gross indecency'. In 1952, he was convicted of 'gross indecency' with another man and was forced to undergo so-called 'organo-therapy' - chemical castration. Two years later, he killed himself with cyanide, aged just 41. Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he'd done so much to save. This remains a shame on the UK government and UK history. A pardon can go to some way to healing this damage. It may act as an apology to many of the other gay men, not as well known as Alan Turing, who were subjected to these laws.

The Turing criminal pardon petition, opened last month, remains open until 23 November next year. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.