Alan Turing was a British code-breaker whose work is often credited with cracking the German Enigma code and helping end World War II.
Cambridge University called him one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and a father of modern computing.
But Turing was gay, which was illegal in Britain when he was convicted of homosexual activity in 1952, lost his security clearance, and subjected to chemical castration. (Via Sky News)
Turing later committed suicide by cyanide poisoning. But now — some 60 years later — Queen Elizabeth II has granted him a posthumous royal pardon.
UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling requested the pardon, calling Turing "a brilliant man."
Many are applauding the royal pardon, calling it "long overdue." (Via The Telegraph)
And while that's pretty much the reaction you'll find in most coverage of the pardon, the BBC features an interesting perspective from a man working on a memorial for Turing.
"What about all of the other thousands of gay men that were prosecuted? Don't you think it rather says that if you are useful to the state, the law does not apply to you and we will let you off?"
The British government DID issue a posthumous apology to Turing in 2009, but this new official royal pardon is rare. According to The Independent, since 1945, the so-called "Royal Prerogative of Mercy" has only been exercised three other times — all accused murderers.
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