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Royal pardon for codebreaker Alan Turing


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#1 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:12 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-25495315

 

 

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.

 

It overturns his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.

 

The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that proved vital to the Allies in World War II.

 

 

I don't think he should of been pardoned.


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#2 Saint Billinge

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:48 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-25495315

 

 

 

I don't think he should of been pardoned.

 

Any particular reason why?



#3 Phil

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:06 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-25495315

 

 

 

I don't think he should of been pardoned.

 Yes any reason why? and having my pedantic head on it should be "I don't think he should HAVE been pardoned." they reckon his work cut the war short by at least two years.


Edited by Phil, 24 December 2013 - 09:48 AM.

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#4 bearman

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:10 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-25495315
 
 

 
I don't think he should of been pardoned.


For me the past is a different country, they did things differently there.

Is he being pardoned because he was a homosexual? If so then anyone convicted of a homosexual ( consentual) act should be pardoned too.
Or is he being pardoned only because as a homosexual he did something worthwhile? In which case how do you measure what is " worthwhile"? lots of Homosexuals acted as ambulance personnel or stretcher bearers often under heavy fire.
I used to work with a homosexual who was imprisonned in the 1950's who had been a Bevin Boy during the war, isn't that " worthwhile" too?

During both World Wars people were shot or imprisoned in circumstances that by today's values we would not condone.
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#5 Saint Billinge

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:11 AM

 Yes any reason why? and having my pedantic head on it should be "I don't think he should HAVE been pardoned. they reckon his work cut the war short by at least two years.

 

And so saved thousands upon thousands of lives. 



#6 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:14 AM

A pardon implies guilt.

 

Why only 1 man (as important and brilliant as he was), not the 75,000 others?


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#7 JohnM

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:28 AM

I see what you mean but better 1 pardoned than 75,001 not? Might it not show the way forward?

 

in any case, possibly a pardon as  he was guilty under the law at the time, even though that law was clearly repressive, discriminatory, inhuman and wrong? 

 

Still, it has taken far to long to correct. 



#8 Saint Billinge

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:57 AM

A pardon implies guilt.

 

Why only 1 man (as important and brilliant as he was), not the 75,000 others?

 

Out of interest to the debate, what about the executed soldiers from WWI who were pardoned?  Were they then guilty of cowardice or desertion under harrowing conditions never experience before in battle, as at the time it was deemed so? 


Edited by Saint Billinge, 24 December 2013 - 11:04 AM.


#9 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:21 AM

For me the past is a different country, they did things differently there.

Is he being pardoned because he was a homosexual? If so then anyone convicted of a homosexual ( consentual) act should be pardoned too.
Or is he being pardoned only because as a homosexual he did something worthwhile? In which case how do you measure what is " worthwhile"? lots of Homosexuals acted as ambulance personnel or stretcher bearers often under heavy fire.
I used to work with a homosexual who was imprisonned in the 1950's who had been a Bevin Boy during the war, isn't that " worthwhile" too?

During both World Wars people were shot or imprisoned in circumstances that by today's values we would not condone.
That's history. It's gone, learn from it and move on.

I think that's a very good point

Why should Turing be treated differently to other gay men who were persecuted and imprisoned? The idea that what he did somehow earns him the right to be 'pardoned' is imho untenable- the idea if pardoning someone who has done nothing wrong seems a bit shaky to me as well

 

However there are still people alive who were imprisoned for being gay, there are still people alive who lived their lives in fear of imprisonment and homophobia is still a major social issue blighting the lives of a significant number of our population

 

Surely an act of contrition is in order

Not just for Turing 


Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 24 December 2013 - 11:25 AM.

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#10 ckn

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

Out of interest to the debate, what about the executed soldiers from WWI who were pardoned?  Were they then guilty of cowardice or desertion under harrowing conditions never experience before in battle, as at the time it was deemed so? 

Those clearly suffering from PTSD or similar who were executed were rightly pardoned as a moral act of conscience recognising that we, as a country, were wrong at the time regardless of the evidence available.  Surely it's the same with everything else where our modern morals and understandings show that we mistreated people based on our current understanding.  If that means we have to retrospectively pardon anyone convicted of homosexual acts then so be it.


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#11 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:28 AM

Those clearly suffering from PTSD or similar who were executed were rightly pardoned as a moral act of conscience recognising that we, as a country, were wrong at the time regardless of the evidence available.  Surely it's the same with everything else where our modern morals and understandings show that we mistreated people based on our current understanding.  If that means we have to retrospectively pardon anyone convicted of homosexual acts then so be it.

 

http://www.newstates...one-alan-turing

 

The problem with posthumous pardons is that they are practically - and legally - meaningless.  It is a gesture.  Indeed, the statutory pardon for the 306 soldiers expressly stated that the pardon did not affect either the conviction or even the validity of the sentence given.  The argument was that it was wrong to impugn the official decisions which led to the executions.  All that the Ministry of Defence did was, as an administrative act, to put a copy of the pardon on each executed soldier’s file.

 


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#12 ckn

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:30 AM

I see the point you're making but it's a public recognition that it was wrong.  If you pardon one then you pardon them all.  If you can't pardon all then you pardon none otherwise you make an unconscious point that either others were rightly convicted or they aren't worthy of pardon.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#13 John Rhino

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:41 PM

For me the past is a different country, they did things differently there.

Is he being pardoned because he was a homosexual? If so then anyone convicted of a homosexual ( consentual) act should be pardoned too.
Or is he being pardoned only because as a homosexual he did something worthwhile? In which case how do you measure what is " worthwhile"? lots of Homosexuals acted as ambulance personnel or stretcher bearers often under heavy fire.
I used to work with a homosexual who was imprisonned in the 1950's who had been a Bevin Boy during the war, isn't that " worthwhile" too?

During both World Wars people were shot or imprisoned in circumstances that by today's values we would not condone.
That's history. It's gone, learn from it and move on.


I welcomed his pardon as an acknowledgement that what he did was not wrong and as a symbolic pardon for others convicted of the same offence.
Where I differ is with those people calling for an apology.
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#14 JohnM

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

http://www.telegraph...l-war-hero.html


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#15 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:51 PM

If someone receives a Royal Pardon, isn't it supposed to mean that they were not guilty of the offence they were convicted of?

 

Timothy Evans, who was hanged in the 1950s for murdering his wife and child, was granted a Royal Pardon when it became clear that he was innocent, and that the Rillington Place murders had been committed by John Christie.

 

Similarly, soldiers who were wrongly court martialled and executed in the FWW for cowardice should receive a Royal Pardon on the same basis.

 

There is another class of criminal offence that Turing and other gay people could be classified as, which are criminal acts that they committed that are later legalised. I'm sure there would be other criminal offences from the past that would also look barbaric to us today.

 

Turing was a genius and was treated appallingly. But then no doubt so were many others who were less intellectually able, and there were other famous people who were convicted of homosexual offences, including the actor John Gielgud.

 

Perhaps there should be a procedure whereby people convicted of crimes that are no longer criminal offences could have their guilt collectively annulled by a subsequent government decree.


Edited by Martyn Sadler, 24 December 2013 - 03:52 PM.


#16 gingerjon

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:00 PM

If someone receives a Royal Pardon, isn't it supposed to mean that they were not guilty of the offence they were convicted of?

 

Timothy Evans, who was hanged in the 1950s for murdering his wife and child, was granted a Royal Pardon when it became clear that he was innocent, and that the Rillington Place murders had been committed by John Christie.

 

Similarly, soldiers who were wrongly court martialled and executed in the FWW for cowardice should receive a Royal Pardon on the same basis.

 

There is another class of criminal offence that Turing and other gay people could be classified as, which are criminal acts that they committed that are later legalised. I'm sure there would be other criminal offences from the past that would also look barbaric to us today.

 

Turing was a genius and was treated appallingly. But then no doubt so were many others who were less intellectually able, and there were other famous people who were convicted of homosexual offences, including the actor John Gielgud.

 

Perhaps there should be a procedure whereby people convicted of crimes that are no longer criminal offences could have their guilt collectively annulled by a subsequent government decree.

 

A pardon means you are forgiven.  It does not necessarily mean you are now considered not guilty.


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#17 Bigal02

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:58 PM

A pardon means you are forgiven.  It does not necessarily mean you are now considered not guilty.

So Timothy Evans was forgiven for something he didn't do?



#18 Copa

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:13 PM

For me the past is a different country, they did things differently there.

Is he being pardoned because he was a homosexual? If so then anyone convicted of a homosexual ( consentual) act should be pardoned too.
Or is he being pardoned only because as a homosexual he did something worthwhile? In which case how do you measure what is " worthwhile"? lots of Homosexuals acted as ambulance personnel or stretcher bearers often under heavy fire.
I used to work with a homosexual who was imprisonned in the 1950's who had been a Bevin Boy during the war, isn't that " worthwhile" too?

During both World Wars people were shot or imprisoned in circumstances that by today's values we would not condone.
That's history. It's gone, learn from it and move on.

it's not really "gone" though if it's part of the living memory of some people. It's not like some massacre committed by conquering Romans.

#19 getdownmonkeyman

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:14 PM

If Turing is the trickle that creates the waterfall, then so be it.

 

It is incredibly difficult to take a fifty year-old perspective and not be aghast at it. Hindsight and all that.



#20 gingerjon

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 09:01 PM

So Timothy Evans was forgiven for something he didn't do?

 

I don't know the details of that pardon.  Clearly Evans did not kill anyone whereas Turning was homosexual - so the pardon can't be for the same reasons.

 

EDIT
Turns out Evans' family wanted his conviction quashed not a pardon as the pardon did not say he was innocent.


Edited by gingerjon, 25 December 2013 - 09:14 PM.

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