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Alan Turing Pardoned

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the least-we-could-do dept.

Crime 415

First time accepted submitter a.ferrier writes "Today's computing would be unthinkable without the contributions of the British mathematician Alan Turing, who laid down the foundations of computer science, broke Nazi codes that helped win World War II at the famous Bletchley Park, created a secure speech encryption system, made major contributions to logic and philosophy, and even invented the concept of Artificial Intelligence. But he was also an eccentric and troubled man who was persecuted (and prosecuted) for being gay, a tragedy that contributed to his suicide just short of the age of 42 when he died of cyanide poisoning, possibly from a half-eaten apple found by his side. He is hailed today as one of the great originators of our computing age. Today he received a royal pardon."

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Not enough, (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 months ago | (#45770243)

Charges should have been dropped. A pardon implies that he was actually guilty of something worthy of criminalization .

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

Highland Deck Box (2786087) | about 8 months ago | (#45770277)

That is basically dropping the charges. You can't go back to 1952 and make the case disappear, but they can say that they regret what happened. It's entirely symbolic anyway since he's long since dead, and would be even if he had lived to old age.

Re:Not enough, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770673)

I kicked you in the nuts... oops, I pardon you.

They should have APOLOGIZED for the error (crime, really) they've committed.

Like it does HIM any good. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770281)

Charges should have been dropped. A pardon implies that he was actually guilty of something worthy of criminalization .

The poor bastard had to deal with the horseshit while he was alive. This pardoning and whatever long after he's dead accomplished nothing.

It's just PR for little political people that want to pander to the Gay and Lesbian community.

Re:Like it does HIM any good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770567)

I think you meant.. man shit

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770303)

But... at the time it was illegal to be gay, so yeah, at the time he was guilty technically.

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#45770415)

What do you mean, technically? He committed a crime, there were witnesses, AND he confessed. You don't get any more guilty than that.

Sure the law was completely unjust by modern standards, but that doesn't change anything. You'd be similarly guilty in most of the world today if you decided to marry more than one person. Or consumed particular psychoactive plants. These are the problems you run into when you try to legislate morality rather than restricting your judicial system to making sure people don't hurt or cheat one another.

Re:Not enough, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770549)

If the system was really set up to prevent cheating.. adultery would be a punishment you piece of hypocritical shit.

Re:Not enough, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770669)

You get into a threeway of morality, financial/physical damage and emotional damage with adultery. Was it just sex? Not really a crime IMO. Were they socking away money to run away together? The funds should be taken and awarded, at least a large portion to the non-cheater. Maybe a small criminal sentence or punitive civil award. Were they openly flaunting it to the point of emotional abuse? Same as any other abuse, plus the aforementioned financial facet too possibly.

Re:Not enough, (1, Interesting)

ImdatS (958642) | about 8 months ago | (#45770615)

He pleaded that he "did have an intimate relationship with a man" (to paraphrase). Whether that is guilt and/or criminal is decided by others not him.

The fact that laws at that time defined this action as criminal does not make it criminal per se. Laws are supposed to be as just as possible and not necessarily always reflect current morals. If we accept current morals as the benchmark for laws, we are doomed to never develop as a species... we should aspire to have ethics as the basis for laws, not current morals...

In Germany, e.g., any (even consensual) sexual relationship between a man (over 18) and a male person (under 18, even if it was over 16) was illegal under criminal law. But the same didn't apply for a man over 18 and a woman between 16-18 as long as it was consensual. This was the case until mid 1980's - it wasn't fair, it wasn't just - it was just a law. Laws are there to be changed and adapted to be more just. We learn. This doesn't mean mean that we should not condemn old laws that created so much injustice....

He was not guilty under a just law - he was guilt because the law was unjust... there are too many examples in our history to cite - without even calling on Godwin's Law - for which we should be ashamed as humanity and make sure that they never happen again.

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

makellan (550215) | about 8 months ago | (#45770329)

To be fair to the Queen, he was guilty of something that was illegal at the time so a pardon is appropriate. The fact that it should never have been an issue, much less a criminal one, is, technically, not her fault. What she should do is pardon everyone who was ever convicted of being gay.

Re:Not enough, (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#45770369)

A pardon removes a conviction.
A conviction defines guilt.
So the pardon removes guilt.

Guilt is not a fact. Guilt is simply a societal pronouncement.

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#45770603)

Now that that's out of the way, how about a knighthood. I can't think of many that have deserved it more.

Re:Not enough, (0)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 8 months ago | (#45770443)

"I was just doing my job."

Said by every overzealous prosecutor of every trumped up charge ever. Fuck that.

Re:Not enough, (3, Funny)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#45770451)

>What she should do is pardon everyone who was ever convicted of being gay.

But how would that reinforce the important and long-standing tradition that VIPs should get special treatment? Next you'll tell me that celebrities and politicians should face the same sentences for criminal acts as the commoners.

Re:Not enough, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770525)

To be fair to the Queen, he was guilty of something that was illegal at the time so a pardon is appropriate. The fact that it should never have been an issue, much less a criminal one, is, technically, not her fault.
What she should do is pardon everyone who was ever convicted of being gay.

Why? What's up with this new discovery of pervert love? Why is it so important? Only about 2% of population is bent, not 20 or 30 or 40! Why even care.

Re:Not enough, (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 8 months ago | (#45770345)

A pardon is within the Queen's power and less politically controversial. I am not sure offhand whether dropping the charges would be within the Queen's power and it would also be more likely to step on toes within the bar or bench.

Re:Not enough, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770473)

Just FYI, this is not how it works. The Pardon is issued in the name of the Queen : however, if you look at the bottom of the document you will see that it is signed "C Grayling". That is Chris Grayling MP, the justice secretary in the government who is responsible for the decision. The Queen just signs stuff into law presented to her by the government, she has no official say in the decisions, although she does meet regularly with Prime Ministers to discuss matters of state privately.

Any refusal to sign something by the monarch would lead to an unprecedented constitutional crisis, possibly resulting in the end of the monarchy but in practice this is never going to happen : all the formality, procedure and stuffy language is just a relic of times past for the sake of tradtion, some people love it, others find it seriously outdated and ripe for the history bookshelves.

Re:Not enough, (1)

houghi (78078) | about 8 months ago | (#45770577)

Any refusal to sign something by the monarch would lead to an unprecedented constitutional crisis, possibly resulting in the end of the monarchy but in practice this is never going to happen

It has happened in Belgium where King Boudoujn refused to sign [time.com] the law about abortion.

So if they wanted, I am sure the UK politicians would be able to find a way around it as well.

Re:Not enough, (1)

Holi (250190) | about 8 months ago | (#45770699)

Yes because the UK Constitution controls Belgium. Your analogy falls entirely flat when comparing two countries based on one countries laws. And the King did not so much refuse to sign, he just abdicated the throne so he would not have to. The law was passed.

Re:Not enough, (1)

columbus (444812) | about 8 months ago | (#45770729)

Someone mod parent up please.

I recall there was a push to get Allan Turing pardoned a few years back and it got shot down in the House of Commons. I believe the prime minister said something along the lines of "He was convicted of breaking the law of the land at the time. Laws change but we don't roll back time and reverse earlier convictions. We adhere to the laws that are in force at any given time."

So when this came out from the Queen, it appeared to me that one part of the government (the monarchy) was circumventing another part of government (the democracy). I asked myself "is this an instance where democracy cannot summon the courage to do the moral thing and the aristocracy rises to the challenge? How remarkable."

But I do not know much about the relative roles of the monarchy and elected representatives with regards to the power of the pardon in the UK, so I was about to ask for more information. AC has answered my question before I could ask it.

Re:Not enough, (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#45770731)

Any refusal to sign something by the monarch would lead to an unprecedented constitutional crisis, possibly resulting in the end of the monarchy

Or the dissolution of the government, with the monarchy's position prevailing -- depending on what exactly it was they refused to sign, or what proclamation they did choose to sign "without permission"

As long as the government administration in play at the time is corrupt, and the public is truly overwhelmingly in agreement with the monarchy's position.

It is an unlikely event, and it might not happen in the next year, or in the next 100 years, BUT history is very very long, and eventually almost every unlikely event will happen.

It would be silly to expect the current government institution to last forever, or for the monarchy to last forever, in the state that it does today. Ultimately; it will be influenced by the state of the country and the world ---- many different things in the future can happen to influence things.

Never say never.

Re:Not enough, (5, Insightful)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 8 months ago | (#45770363)

No. A pardon implies nothing of the sort. He pleaded guilty to a criminal charge. The only way to reverse that under the law is a Pardon. Whether or not homosexuality actually constitutes Gross Indecency (it doesn't btw) or even if Gross Indecency should be a criminal act is another matter entirely.

Re:Not enough, (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#45770757)

What point does a posthumous pardon have?

They can't exactly reverse the sentence or atone for it, now that he's already dead.

Or did I miss the part from the article, where they showed how the government is going to excavate his grave: bring him back to life, and reverse all effects of decay and aging, so he'll be as young and wily as the day before he was charged of a crime?

Re:Not enough, (4, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 8 months ago | (#45770365)

Moreover, it should apply to all those criminalized, and convicted under this awful law. Alan Turing was a great man, sure enough. But he was not the only victim of this sadistic state. The least the state can do is a blanket pardon, apology, and striking from the records of the "crime" of being gay and acting on it.

Re:Not enough, (1)

Pendletoncils (2834733) | about 8 months ago | (#45770393)

People are still receiving similar treatment for their sexual preference in probably more than half of the (inhabited) world. They should drop some decent coin on an Alan Turing foundation (which probably already exists) and actually contribute to emancipation. What a farce.

Re:Not enough, (2)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 8 months ago | (#45770421)

She should have posthumously censured all the legislators who voted for the act in the first place, as well as the person who lodged the complaint.

She should have posthumously... (3, Funny)

UberDude (70424) | about 8 months ago | (#45770507)

She's still alive!

Re:Not enough, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770505)

No, the British government stuck to their legal system as it is presently defined (which is the right thing to do, if you'd give it some thought), as your definition of what a pardon implies is factually incorrect.

Mr. Turing was convicted of committing an act that was considered a crime at the time.

Hence he WAS found guilty, of committing an act that was considered criminal at the time.

Step forward 60+ years, Mr. Turning was (up until a little while ago) considered a criminal.

Thus, according to their own legal system, as of right now, they are required to pardon Mr. Turing, as a pardon is both a "forgiveness of a past crime" and a "cancellation of the penalty associated with it". Which they have done.

"Dropping the charges" only happens BEFORE a trial finishes and verdict reached.

Re:Not enough, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770521)

danm the queen for pardoning a man who loved to put it up another mans anus and by the grace of God you say...

Re:Not enough, (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#45770551)

Charges should have been dropped. A pardon implies that he was actually guilty of something worthy of criminalization .

The government can charge you with being a turnip, but unless it can convict you of tuberousness, then you are not a turnip.

Even if it does, your are still not a turnip, but legally you must be, because a jury agreed. That's because legality and morality/righteousness are not closely related.

Re:Not enough, (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 8 months ago | (#45770621)

A pardon implies that he was actually guilty of something worthy of criminalization .

Quite. A pardon for Turing does nothing to condemn the law he was convicted under.

I wonder if the UK government would be so kind as to pardon *everybody* convicted under these laws going back as long as required? Not to dismiss Turing's contributions, but why should it just be for him?

Re:Not enough, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770703)

He was a dirty bird faggot and he should have been given the death sentence by the state. It's time to end this touchy-feely bullshit and stand up to these faggots.

Pardon? A Pardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770253)

They can take their pardon and shove it up the queen's ass.

An abject apology would be a good start.

Re:Pardon? A Pardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770411)

They can take their pardon and shove it up the queen's ass.
  An abject apology would be a good start.

An apology is literally the LEAST they can do, a Pardon carries much greater weight. At this point the only thing they could do more than a pardon would be to pay damages to his Estate.

Your statement is like saying "So what if they gave me a gold medal, I wanted that Participation ribbon!"

Re:Pardon? A Pardon? (4, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 8 months ago | (#45770493)

An abject apology would be a good start.

The then prime minister made one four years ago. [telegraph.co.uk] I remember at the time that people were complaining that it wasn't enough and a pardon should be issued.

24th? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770261)

So how come it's dated for tomorrow, and wonky, and badly spelled?

Re:24th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770295)

It's English?

Re:24th? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770379)

It's BRITISH, you retard. BRITISH.

Re:24th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770503)

No, you tit, it's English. Only people from outside England would ever call the language anything else.

Re:24th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770301)

Really?

Re:24th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770323)

Because in all likelyhood, you're an American, and are technically behind in time compared to the rest of the world

Re:24th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770337)

Perhaps it will be "official" on the 24th. Do you think that they just think this up in one day, produce a poorly written document. and then send out a press release? No. Government takes a lot longer for something like that.

Re:24th? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 8 months ago | (#45770719)

I'm not sure, but I do believe it has something to do with divers.

That's great! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770267)

Now he can start enjoying life, oh wait, we're just trying to make people feel good. move along, there is nothing here

A lot of good it does him now... (1)

Darth Twon (2832799) | about 8 months ago | (#45770271)

Just like all politics, worried about nothing more than the image. Nothing to see here.

An utter disgrace. Should be a full apology (-1, Flamebait)

bazmail (764941) | about 8 months ago | (#45770273)

This is a travesty. The charges and conviction still stand. Conviction should be quashed and a full "royal" apology from the inbred German layabouts in Buckingham palace.

ex post facto (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45770431)

If you can quash a conviction even though it was perfectly correct by the law at the time it happened then you can prosecute someone for something they do today if it's made illegal next year.

Retroactive law is a dangerous box to open.

Re:ex post facto (1)

DM9290 (797337) | about 8 months ago | (#45770743)

If you can quash a conviction even though it was perfectly correct by the law at the time it happened then you can prosecute someone for something they do today if it's made illegal next year.

Retroactive law is a dangerous box to open.

It is a determination that the previous conviction was in fact NOT perfectly correct by the law.

There is no specific reason why humanity has to worship the stupid choices of past generations and pretend our ancestors knew everything. We can abolish old laws and declare that they were always unjust from the start. That isn't the same thing as punishing people for past technically legal actions.

59 years too late (-1, Flamebait)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#45770291)

Fuck the British government of Christmas past for what they did to him. Here you have a genius, a war hero, one of the greatest people of the twentieth century, and your fucking idiocy runs him straight into the ground. Fuck you forever.

Re:59 years too late (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45770459)

Agreed! Other countries like America, Russia or Nigeria would never persecute people just for preferring to drive up chocolate lane.

Re:59 years too late (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#45770559)

If only "being retarded" wasn't a property that could be shared by more than one entity at a time, your post would have actual relevance.

Re:59 years too late (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 8 months ago | (#45770697)

Fuck the British government of Christmas past for what they did to him. Here you have a genius, a war hero, one of the greatest people of the twentieth century, and your fucking idiocy runs him straight into the ground. Fuck you forever.

He was convicted for something that was a crime when he was convicted. The judge didn't know that he was a war hero, and nobody who knew could tell him because it was top secret at the time. What you are complaining about, nobody knew about that until it was thirty years too late to do anything about it.

Now some questions: If something becomes illegal after you do it, should you be convicted retroactively? And if something becomes legal after you do it, should you be "unconvicted" retroactively? And consider that things change all the time; what you do today might be a crime in twenty years time. For example, it's not unthinkable that you would get convicted for assault for smoking in a pub in twenty years time. And that everyone talking about it would say that you fully deserve it.

The other: If you are a war hero and commit a crime, should you be convicted, or should the law not be applied because you are a war hero? Is that answer simply yes or no, or is it "depends on what kind of war hero and what kind of crime"? In that case, does it apply to war heroes only? Or to football heroes? Or entertainment heroes?

Re:59 years too late (1)

ImdatS (958642) | about 8 months ago | (#45770723)

Actually, laws can be declared "illegal" retroactively. I don't know what are the circumstances in each country, but in Germany during the last 10-20 years, a lot of laws were declared "illegal" retroactively, including e.g. some tax laws. The government had to pay compensation to the effected people retroactively.

And no, I'm not talking about laws from the time of 1933-1945. These were new laws (e.g. one from 2003 that was declared illegal in, if I remember correctly, 2008 or so).

Now, admittedly, this was because these laws were declared "unconstitutional" and I don't know all the circumstances under which laws can be declared illegal retroactively, but it seems it is possible...

They really ducked the issue...... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770297)

I wonder what Phil Robertson would think of this if he was literate and able to use a computer?

Re:They really ducked the issue...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770409)

Phil has a master's degree in education, you bigoted fucktard.

Re:They really ducked the issue...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770687)

A whole lot of good that education did him. And please learn to use the term "bigoted" correctly. If you dont know what the word means, look it up so you can apply it in the correct context. Fucktard.

Alan Turing (1, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 8 months ago | (#45770311)

Alan is one of the smartest people on this planet. The way he was treated is a direct display of our inhumanity. He is on my wall now, framed in gold, hanging on my silk-spun wall of fame (not that it matters to anyone), but I will forever remember him as one of the most important mathematicians of his time and even our time. I've placed him next to Benoit Mandelbrot for a reason (can you figure out why?).

We as a species are very different when it comes to our mind, our culture, our background. People will always be treated according to the common public's belief, religion or politics no matter what science tells us.

I know this, because just as Alan, I am as different as the rest of you. But you would hate me for who I am, and if you knew, you would love me, as would you love your next of kin, and everyone around you...if you grew a little...kind of like Alan, but there is a time for everything, and hopefully...we're nearing that time...when you can discern between science and religion, and understand that the world is so much more.

Re:Alan Turing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770391)

I've placed him next to Benoit Mandelbrot

Did they have an affair?

Re:Alan Turing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770497)

"MindPrison"... you meant Kool-aid but it was taken?

Re:Alan Turing (-1, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 8 months ago | (#45770657)

Pedophile identified.

Who will pardon the ungrateful UK? (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 8 months ago | (#45770313)

Who literally owe their current non-occupied existence to the work performed by heroes like Mr. Turing?

Symbolic (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 8 months ago | (#45770325)

A gesture that the UK Govt did wrong at the time ...

We must never forget that sometimes, the laws are wrong and cause great people to suffer or die.

Why him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770335)

Shouldn't the law apply to everyone in an equal manner? Why should he be exempted from the same treatment others got?

Justice (0, Offtopic)

smagruder (207953) | about 8 months ago | (#45770339)

If this man's life provided the full rationale for gay rights, it would be enough.

Re:Justice (1)

fermion (181285) | about 8 months ago | (#45770643)

If we had reached a point where human rights were considered basic, where a person could succeed without other looking at how they lived, then the pardon might be meaningful. But the church still controls so much of what we can and can't do. People are judged how they relate to the random dictates of old white men like Pope Francis and Phil Robertson rather than what they contribute to society. Only when they contribute something undeniable unique is their eccentricity accepted.

It is like an old episode of the Simpson: Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set.. If only every person who the religious nuts found offensive could do something great so they are accepted.

If I may quote another show, Yes, Prime Minister, It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it: I have an independent mind; you are an eccentric; he is round the twist. We should consider the nutters that like to deny basic human rights 'around the twist' but instead we give them a pass while those that do an honest days work gets the shaft.

Long overdue (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 8 months ago | (#45770375)

This should have happened decades ago. Since the 70s his contribution to winning the WWII are known and there are very, very few humans that can rival his impact.

Re:Long overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770533)

What about Joseph Desch [wikipedia.org] ?

He took Turing's work on the Enigma bombe and made it faster and reprogrammable. (This all happened when the Germans swapped out 3-wheel Enigmas for 4-wheel ones, which defeated Turing's bombe.) He had to invent RAM to make it work.

There's a PBS documentary about all of this, mostly focused on the NCR Dayton crew. Turing comes off looking like a total whiny bitch about the whole thing, complaining about how the Americans wouldn't put up with his jackass personality. It seems that nobody here cared if he was gay, they just wanted him to stop being a douchebag. Maybe that was the Brits' reason too, but they had this convenient anti-gay law they could use to make it stick.

If he was a genius, his peers shouldn't have seen the need to work around him. Far too many people are terrible at life, both geniuses and non-geniuses.

Re:Long overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770705)

You should have stayed under your bridge, Troll. The British bombe was made under very restricted manufacturing capabilities in wartime England. And Turing conveniently showed Desch and his team, how to solve the problem using only 1/4th of the number of decryption machines that they were planning. I doubt they were calling him a whiny bitch after his trip enlightened them...

Biography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770383)

His blography very subtly suggests there was more to his suicide than meets the eye

Re:Biography (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 8 months ago | (#45770511)

...Turing was arrested for violation of British homosexuality statutes in 1952 when he reported to the police details of a homosexual affair. He had gone to the police because he had been threatened with blackmail. He was tried as a homosexual on 31 March 1952, offering no defence other than that he saw nothing wrong in his actions. Found guilty he was given the alternatives of prison or oestrogen injections for a year. He accepted the latter and returned to a wide range of academic pursuits....

The decoding operation at Bletchley Park became the basis for the new decoding and intelligence work at GCHQ. With the cold war this became an important operation and Turing continued to work for GCHQ, although his Manchester colleagues were totally unaware of this. After his conviction, his security clearance was withdrawn. Worse than that, security officers were now extremely worried that someone with complete knowledge of the work going on at GCHQ was now labelled a security risk. He had many foreign colleagues, as any academic would, but the police began to investigate his foreign visitors. A holiday which Turing took in Greece in 1953 caused consternation among the security officers.

Turing died of potassium cyanide poisoning while conducting electrolysis experiments. The cyanide was found on a half eaten apple beside him. An inquest concluded that it was self-administered but his mother always maintained that it was an accident.

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Turing.html [st-and.ac.uk]

http://www.turing.org.uk/bio/part1.html [turing.org.uk]

Such Bullshit Speculation (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 8 months ago | (#45770397)

"a tragedy that contributed to his suicide just short of the age of 42 when he died of cyanide poisoning, possibly from a half-eaten apple found by his side"

That myth has been disproven hundreds of times. The tons of sugar in an apple beats out the miniscule amount of cyanide present in the seeds. Sugar is the natural antidote to cyanide poisoning. I eat the entire apple, core and all. 30 years, not one bit of cyanide poisoning.

Re:Such Bullshit Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770575)

It is established as fact that he died of cyanide poisoning. It is also established that there was a half eaten apple next time him when he was found dead. The theory is that he poisoned the apple himself, not that the seeds killed him or whatever nonsense you are on about.

Re:Such Bullshit Speculation (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#45770693)

Are you sure? You've never suffered from confusion, chest tightness, headache, shortness of breath, or nausea? Those are the classic symptoms of low-grade cyanide poisoning, and cyanide is one of those poisons where chronic low grade exposure can accumulate until it becomes lethal.

Of course as long as you don't chew the seeds you'll be fine, the outer shell is undigestible - that's the deal apple trees (and most other fruit-bearing plants) offer - they provide animals with a calorie-rich food source in order to lure them into swallowing the seeds and depositing them far and wide in piles of fertilizer. The poison is only intended for those parasites that would digest the seeds themselves.

If you decide to become such a parasite and chew the seeds... well about half a cup worth is probably enough to kill you, depending on the specific concentrations. So yeah, not much chance that a half-eaten apple could kill someone. A half-eaten *bushel*, maybe. Sounds like either urban myth, or possibly speculation by an incompetent, lazy, or corrupt medical examiner. I mean if you committed suicide by cyanide poisoning it seems reasonable to expect that you would leave behind a container that still contains traces of the poison, and possibly a note. In their absence it suddenly looks a lot less like suicide (were they absent?)

Maybe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770399)

MAYBE committed suicide.

Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770405)

I really hope this is real.. but it's a random(ish) website. The language seems rather odd even by royal proclomation standards. Are we sure this isn't a fake? I'd want to see a few serious sources ratify this.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770499)

Yep. Would have liked to see it sourced at a *.gov.uk domain instead. Also, the document could use real scanned signatures instead of just that fancy "hand-written" font.

Re:Really? (1)

ImdatS (958642) | about 8 months ago | (#45770545)

According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing#Government_apology_and_pardon [wikipedia.org] (and The Times of London), he will be pardoned tomorrow, Dec 24th, 2013, UK time...

An apology was expressed in 2009 by the British Government.

But, alas, that doesn't make a past wrong right - the only we can do now is to learn from the past mistakes and wrongs and do whatever we can that it doesn't happen again in the future...

What about everyone else? (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 8 months ago | (#45770419)

Lots of men were charged with these insane laws. Why aren't they all pardoned? I see it as nothing more than a cute gesture. Everyone persecuted under these bullshit laws should be given full pardons.

Re:What about everyone else? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770681)

No, every faggot should be beaten to death and we'd hear the end of their faggot fantasies.
 
And I don't give a fuck about whatever god or bullshit you're into. There's no mercy here. There's no "don't be judgmental and just get along."
 
Faggots have no place in modern society.

Re:What about everyone else? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770753)

Shouldn't all of them be pardoned as part of the process when they repeal the original law?

Ratified by The Independent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770433)

Other sources have ratified it: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/alan-turing-gets-his-royal-pardon-for-gross-indecency--61-years-after-he-poisoned-himself-9023116.html

The travesty is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770439)

... the queen did not also pardon everyone else who was every convicted for being gay.

Not a crime (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 months ago | (#45770447)

What Mr Turing pled guilty to is not a crime. That he and any one else should have been treated as criminals, and how they were treated is the crime.

Anyone ever treated this way deserves a pardon and more, our most humble apologies.

Re:Not a crime (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#45770623)

What Mr Turing pled guilty to is not a crime.

No, it's not. But it was back then. Rightly or wrongly, it was a criminal act.

Come back in fifty years and see what's legal by then.

Anyone ever treated this way deserves a pardon and more, our most humble apologies.

It's all very well saying that, but morality is relative. You might well find our ancestors look back on us with much the same disgust.

Re:Not a crime (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#45770763)

As long as "disobeying the law" has absolutely no place in your definition of what constitutes a crime, you are correct.

Unfortunately that's not how societies governed by the rule of law operate. So long as we have laws that try to legislate morality rather than just protecting people from each other we will continue to incarcerate such victimless "criminals". Be they polygamists, responsible users of illegal drugs, or just people who want to cross the Boston Common without carrying a shotgun in case of bears.

Why did it take so long? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770461)

You would think that someone referred to as “the queen” for more than 60 years would be more sympathetic to the gay population.

Re:Why did it take so long? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#45770773)

Really? How do you suppose you would feel if your God-given title was being besmirched by a bunch of transvestites?

was persecuted (and prosecuted) for being happy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770475)

He was a pervert, lusting for other men and that was not cool in those days. Not sure, why it's OK now and wtf is this pardon all about.
Yes he was a smart guy but so what. He was still considered a perv.

Moral Ambiguity (1)

Eric Cordian (2901383) | about 8 months ago | (#45770509)

Alan Turing, like Oscar Wilde, had some sexual partners who were working class youth. Back in those days, homosexuality was homosexuality, all homosexuality was illegal, and age wasn't much of an issue. While the Gay Movement celebrates the unjust persecution of Alan Turing for "Homosexuality," they gloss over the fact that today, we would lock him up, throw away the key, and denounce him as a pedophile for consensual sex with teenagers. It's lovely that he's been pardoned, but it's a bit hypocritical how today's Gay Activists grandfather in for Historical Gay Icons, behavior they would be the first to loudly condemn in their contemporaries.

Um - how about an apology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770513)

They drove a singular genius to suicide - deprived him of his life and the world of his genius and the best they can do is decades later pardon him FOR BEING GAY.

"by his conviction for homosexual activity" (0)

evanh (627108) | about 8 months ago | (#45770523)

Wow! Using the word conviction suggests Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is of the opinion that Alan Turing was just playing a belief game.

Clearly still a further apology to come yet.

Rejoice faggots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770543)

Continue to live your life of awful sin. You'll pay for it eventually, an eternity in Hell sounds good enough.

Re:Rejoice faggots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770667)

Too bad it's apparently real hard to turn gay; otherwise, I'd apparently have an easy ticket to the opposite region of the afterlife from where brave crusaders against homosexuality like Hitler, Falwell, and Putin end up.

about damned time (1, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 8 months ago | (#45770561)

...but should have been an apology instead of a pardon.

Re:about damned time (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#45770631)

There already was an apology, several years ago [telegraph.co.uk] .

was this redacted by Yoda? (2)

Punto (100573) | about 8 months ago | (#45770717)

by the grace of god, of the united kindom, the queen, pardoned Alan Turing has, hmmm?

hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770737)

The thing that bugs me about this is that all you fuckers on the band wagon saying he should be pardoned in 2013 would be the first to call for his castration if you had been living in the UK in 1950. Seriously people are just as prejudiced now as they were 50, 100, or 1000 years ago.

The boogey man just changes. Today it is (Nazi|pedophiles|Muslims) , before that it was homos, before that it was commies, before that it was Jews, a long time ago being a Canaanite could get you killed. I think the apology / pardon is utter bullshit, when people are treating others like shit and continue to treat each other like shit, and apology is just a way to make people feel better about themselves, and say hey 'We are better than those assholes living 50 years ago.' Well you aren't. Sure you would not castrate someone today for being a homo, but you would surely say that pedophiles need to be castrated. Yes that is right an 18 year old man having sex with, or even seeing a naked 17 year old girl has committed a sex crime and is considered by law to be a pedo. Most people would have no problem whatsoever killing / locking up pedos.

Human nature does not change. It cracks me up when every generation thinks they are better more tolerant than those racist thugs who polluted society 20 - 30 years in the past. Those racist thugs that you hate so much are yourselves.

Next step: No royalty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45770749)

It's time for Britain to get rid of the concept of "royalty", in my opinion.
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