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Alan Turing, a codebreaker who aided the Allies in World War II, was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II, 59 years after his death.
Turing was convicted of homosexuality in 1952, which was a criminal offense in England until 1967. The Wall Street Journal reported that the UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling asked the Queen to grant the pardon. Grayling’s argument was that Turing’s life and his many achievements have been overshadowed by this conviction.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that Turing’s work saved numerous lives during the war and has left a national legacy for the UK.
According to BBC News, Turing died only two years after his conviction from cyanide poisoning. Many believe that Turing committed suicide, although others believe that this was an accident.
Computer scientist Dr. Sue Black worked hard to campaign to have Turing pardoned. She told BBC that this pardon was just “one small step on the way to making some real positive happen to all the people that were convicted.”
“Dr. Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind,” said Grayling. Now it may be possible for people to remember him for what he did and not why he was persecuted.