Campaign for official Turing apology gathers steam (1 Viewer)

pete

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A grassroots UK campaign to a secure a posthumous apology for computing pioneer Alan Turing over his persecution for homosexuality has begun.

Turing's conviction for gross indecency in 1952 brought an end to an outstanding career as a wartime cryptographer, mathematician and computing pioneer. Denied the opportunity to exercise his formidable intellect in classified work as a consultant to GCHQ, Turing spiralled into depression and eventually committed suicide in 1952, aged 41.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/18/turing_pardon_campaign/


http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/08/its_a_little_late_for_an_apolo.php
 

Moods For Mallards

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There were loads of people prosecuted for homosexual acts. I'd prefer a campaign to have an apology to all those people rather than to Alan Turing because he was a brilliant and important man.
I don't know how I feel about the whole thing actually. I'm not sure of the value or logic of these official apologies. At this stage, who are you saying sorry to? Or on behalf of? A society which inherited certain social norms and laws that reflected those ideas?
The best way of making amends is to change the law and, in that regard, great strides have obviously been made in the intervening time in the UK.
Tragic story, the whole Turning business.
 

7 - No tomorrow

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Conviction for gross indecency

In January 1952 Turing picked up the 19-year-old Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter's house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing's house again, and apparently spent the night there.
After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, the same crime that Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years earlier.
Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via estrogen hormone injections, which lasted for a year. Turing's conviction led to the removal of his security clearance, and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for GCHQ. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents, possibly due to the recent exposure of the first two members of the Cambridge Five, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, as KGB double agents. Turing was never accused of espionage but, as with all who had worked at Bletchley Park, was prevented from discussing his war work.

Poor fucker.
 

ann post

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Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, the same crime that Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years earlier.

i dont think they were actors
 

Denny Oubidoux

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I also agree with mallards. That chemical castration is a fright. What is the deal when things are decriminalised anyway? Are old convictions quashed and criminal records wiped or do they stand because the law of the day was broken?
 

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