Enigma codebreaker may be given posthumous pardon ... but why ?

  Dragon_Heart 01:54 09 Aug 2013

The Guardian reported last month Alan Turing, part of the team which broke the NAZI Enigma code, is to be given a posthumous pardon via a backbench bill. Turing took his own life after being convicted of gross indecency under anti-homosexuality legislation back in 1954.


The support of this bill is a U turn by the UK government, which declined last year to grant posthumous pardons to some 49,000 gay men, who were convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act.

OK Turing's team DID crack the Enigma code based on work done by their Polish counterparts carried out in the inter war years and their efforts saved many countless Allied lives but again why just him ?

The other 49,000 did break the 1885 law at that time but it does appear you only get the chance to get a pardon if you are considered a hero !

Parliament later decriminalised the activity for which he was convicted so why not pardon the others ?

  wiz-king 05:46 09 Aug 2013

Agreed. It's like the Prime Minister apologising for the slave trade when it happened donkeys years before he was even thought of.

  Quickbeam 07:45 09 Aug 2013


  morddwyd 08:07 09 Aug 2013

"so why not pardon the others ?"

Yes and while we're at it we could pardon all those burned for witchcraft, and all the heretics, and those transported for sheep stealing.

What about the suffragettes, and all those prosecuted for running off course bookmaking?

Pardons should be for those wrongly convicted, not just because the law has been changed.

  Quickbeam 09:39 09 Aug 2013


  Chronos the 2nd 09:44 09 Aug 2013

And while we are at it could we not pardon all those that commit offences now but that won't be a crime in the future?

  Quickbeam 09:45 09 Aug 2013

That one's just plain daft C2...

  Chronos the 2nd 09:53 09 Aug 2013

I know......lol.

  Mr Mistoffelees 10:02 09 Aug 2013


Where did you find a keyboard with a "ditto" key?

  Dragon_Heart 21:37 09 Aug 2013

"Pardons should be for those wrongly convicted, not just because the law has been changed"

True but Turing was convicted of something that is now 'accepted' and understood by many more people than in 1885.

There are laws based, if you like, on 'The 10 Commandments', not public opinion or from pressure from those within the church for example.

Turing's conviction, and the other 49,000 men, was based on the latter.

These men were wrongly convicted based on an unjust law.

... but no one has answered the original question, why single out just Turing ?

I think sheep stealing is still a crime ?

  morddwyd 08:07 10 Aug 2013

"These men were wrongly convicted based on an unjust law."

No they weren't.

The laws might have been unjust, but the convictions were just, under those laws, and in many cases upheld on appeal.

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