We don't need a pardon.
We need an apology.
And financial compensations
|A portrait of Oscar Wilde at Reading prison, |
where he was jailed from 1895-97 for 'gross indecency'
|Alan Turing (front) at Bosham in August 1939|
In 1952 Turing pled guilty to a charge of public indecency, admitting he was in a homosexual
relationship with Arnold Murray. Offered the choice between prison and libido-reducing
injections, he opted for the latter. The chemical castration rendered him impotent, and
he is believed to have killed himself in 1954 by eating an apple laced with cyanide.
For authoritative information on Alan Turing, I strongly recommend reading Andrew Hodges'
remarkable biography Alan Turing: The Enigma. Unless you have received some
serious mathematical training (the author was Tutor in Mathematics at Wadham College,
Oxford University) you will need to skip some very obtuse paragraphs to access the core
of the book, namely the narration of a life made miserable and unendurable at times,
and finally cut short by institutionalized prejudice and bigotry. Hodges' monumental work is a new
kind of biography, with mathematics, science, computing, war history, philosophy, fundamental
physics and gay liberation woven in a single personal narrative.