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Computer pioneer finally pardoned

on December 24, 2013 10:09 AM

LONDON (AP) — His code breaking prowess helped the Allies outfox the Nazis, his theories laid the foundation for the computer age, and his work on artificial intelligence still informs the debate over whether machines can think.

But Alan Turing was gay, and 1950s Britain punished the mathematician with a criminal conviction, intrusive surveillance and hormone treatment meant to extinguish his sex drive.

Now, nearly half a century after the war hero’s suicide, Queen Elizabeth II has finally granted Turing a pardon.

“Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind,” Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a prepared statement released today. Describing Turing’s treatment as unjust, Grayling said the code breaker “deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science."

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