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With Queen's Decree, Alan Turing Is Now Officially Pardoned

With Queen's Decree, Alan Turing Is Now Officially Pardoned


Following a lengthy process, Alan Turing, the scientist who broke the Nazi's Enigma code machine during World War II, was formally pardoned by the British monarch Tuesday.

Finalizing a series of formal procedures, Queen Elizabeth II officially pronounced Alan Mathison Turing pardoned on Tuesday, according to United Press International.

The namesake of the A.M. Turing Award, sometimes called the "Nobel Prize of computing," Turing was castrated in 1952 after being convicted of homosexuality, then a crime in Britain.

Having chosen chemical castration over a prison sentence, Turing is believed to have killed himself two years later. He is credited with breaking the previously unbreakable Nazi code machine called "enigma" during World War II, which many say helped lead to an Allied victory over Germany's Adolf Hitler.

"A pardon from the queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man," British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement Tuesday. "Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science."

Turing was just one of nearly 50,000 men who were sentenced under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act that made homosexuality a crime. Despite its plans to pardon Turing, late last year, the British government announced it would not provide posthumous pardons for the other 49,000 or so men who were sentenced under the law.

Noting the computing scientist and mathematician's contributions to the war effort, British Prime Minister David Cameron used the occasion of the queen's pardon to laud Turing as "a remarkable man who played a key role in saving this country in World War II by cracking the German enigma code."

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