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The Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill first reading

As was hinted at in a debate in Parliament to mark the centenary of Turing’s birth, a private members’ bill has been introduced in the House of Lords seeking a pardon for Turing – and Turing alone – for his conviction of gross indecency when homosexual acts were illegal in the UK.

The bill has been introduced by Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Sharkey, and the BBC reports that the Lib Dem MP John Leech has said he will take the bill through the House of Commons to make it law.

The Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill is summarised on the Parliament website:

To give a statutory pardon to Alan Mathison Turing for offences under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 of which he was convicted on 31 March 1952.

Meanwhile, the relevant e-petition has surpassed 35,000 signatures.

Source: Alan Turing pardon campaign goes to House of Lords on BBC News.
More information: Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill on with debate schedule.

4 Responses to “The Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill first reading”

  1. Avatar Sue VanHattum

    You raise a point I hadn’t thought about when reading previous accounts of this proposed pardon.

    “– and Turing alone –”

    Seems to me that anyone prosecuted (persecuted, too, really) for ‘gross indecency’ under laws that made ‘homosexual acts’ illegal should be included in this pardon. I think Alan Turing would want it that way.

  2. Avatar Christian Perfect

    The reasoning behind not pardoning everyone is that it would open a can of worms that would lead to people asking for those burned as witches or as Catholics to be pardoned, which isn’t a completely unreasonable line of thinking. Loads of people didn’t get a fair shake from society throughout history, often in ways that didn’t involve criminal records, and I think we can just accept that it happened and agree to try not to do it again.

  3. Avatar Barry Cooper

    I was still at school when Turing died. I no way associate myself with those who persecuted Turing. The best way to ensure crimes against the individual are no repeated is to actively support the persecuted, not to worry about the discomfort of those seeking to brush those crimes under the carpet. What about war criminals? Do we just say “Loads of people didn’t get a fair shake from society throughout history … I think we can just accept that it happened and agree to try not to do it again.” No some of us were never like that, and justice for those who suffered demands we do our best to get them properly remembered.


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