Iconic UK Codebreaker Castrated for Homosexuality Finally Receives a Pardon

Alan Turing, the British mathematician and codebreaker considered to be the father of modern computer, has finally received a pardon from no less than Queen Elizabeth II herself for his homosexuality conviction in 1952. After Turing was found guilty, he was castrated as punishment and took his own life two years later.

Petitions have sprung up in the past few years to get the British government to officially pardon Turing, but as recently as last year, the pardon request was rejected by the government because, as the justice minister explained, “A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence.”

However, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for the government’s treatment of Turing in 2009.

Turing is particularly well-known for his services to the British government during World War II, when he was able to help crack the Enigma machines used by the German military to transmit secret messages. Some people who have been pushing for his pardon believe that similar pardons should be issued for the thousands of other people who were convicted under England’s anti-homosexuality law.

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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