Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 20th Jul 2013 19:05 UTC
Legal "Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker who took his own life after being convicted of gross indecency under anti-homosexuality legislation, is to be given a posthumous pardon. The government signalled on Friday that it is prepared to support a backbench bill that would pardon Turing, who died from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 after he was subjected to 'chemical castration'." Justice.
Order by: Score:
all or no-one
by Athlander on Sat 20th Jul 2013 19:16 UTC
Athlander
Member since:
2008-03-10

I think the government should pardon all those found guilty under the anti-homosexuality laws, or no-one. Not everyone could be a maths genius who played an important role in cracking the Enigma code.

Reply Score: 18

v RE: all or no-one
by SeeM on Sat 20th Jul 2013 20:11 UTC in reply to "all or no-one"
RE: all or no-one
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 01:56 UTC in reply to "all or no-one"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I think the government should pardon all those found guilty under the anti-homosexuality laws, or no-one. Not everyone could be a maths genius who played an important role in cracking the Enigma code.


How about now that we may have Turing pardoned, we can then move to have all the others pardoned in time?

Or is it a virtue now to have sour-grapes when we don't get what we want in a time frame less than a quarterly business cycle?

Reply Score: 3

PhilPotter
by PhilPotter on Sat 20th Jul 2013 21:27 UTC
PhilPotter
Member since:
2011-06-10

Fact of the matter is whether one was a hero in those times or not, a man or woman being sent to prison/forced to take chemicals to castrate their sexual drive simply because of which sex they were attracted to is an absolute travesty. The law was wrong - a pardon implies admission of guilt. Every conviction under this law should be quashed, and everybody apologised to - those who are still alive, and those who have now perished. To do anything else - to admit it was OK for some to be gay but not others - is the political classes showing us they have learnt nothing.

Reply Score: 11

RE: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:05 UTC in reply to "PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Everyone who holds this view:

To do anything else - to admit it was OK for some to be gay but not others - is the political classes showing us they have learnt nothing.


Unless the government actually says "okay, we'll pardon this one guy, and no one else may get pardoned for this unjust law in the future"

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They don't have to say it, they just have to not do it or endlessly argue about it and delay it. You know, what the government usually does.

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Why? People aren't allowed to disagree with your assessments? Some would say a healthy discussion about the pros and cons would be a good thing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

They don't have to say it, they just have to not do it or endlessly argue about it and delay it. You know, what the government usually does.


It's the people who don't chase for the other pardons. Turing's pardon is not a government only thing. It has the backing of the public and it is the public's job to push for the other pardons.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Why? People aren't allowed to disagree with your assessments? Some would say a healthy discussion about the pros and cons would be a good thing.
"

There is no healthy discussion when one side is arguing imaginary pardon fairies that will take away the ability to pardon other people just because one person is pardoned.

People are only allowed to disagree with my assessment with facts. If all you have are slippery slope arguments and bogeymen, then you remove yourself from reasonable discussion and admittedly have nothing substantial to say.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

People are only allowed to disagree with my assessment with facts. If all you have are slippery slope arguments and bogeymen, then you remove yourself from reasonable discussion and admittedly have nothing substantial to say.


In the immortal words of Glinda: You have no power here.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"People are only allowed to disagree with my assessment with facts. If all you have are slippery slope arguments and bogeymen, then you remove yourself from reasonable discussion and admittedly have nothing substantial to say.


In the immortal words of Glinda: You have no power here.
"

Exactly, so why did you construe my words to the effect of "they should be censored"?

"Shut the fuck up" is, as I understand it, an internet colloquialism that means "you're stupid", but in harsher terms that suggest they're so stupid they shouldn't say anything more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: PhilPotter
by WereCatf on Sun 21st Jul 2013 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PhilPotter"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

People are only allowed to disagree with my assessment with facts.


Why? You're not giving any facts yourself, either, you're just throwing insults around and looking down on everyone from your high horse. Pardoning Alan Turing does in no way or form guarantee that anyone else will be pardoned, too, and looking at how things generally work at that level only the rich or the famous will be given such special treatment.

No, the government hasn't said that only Turing will be pardoned, but neither have they said that anyone else will be pardoned, either. No matter how much you protest it that fact won't change.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"People are only allowed to disagree with my assessment with facts.


Why? You're not giving any facts yourself, either, you're just throwing insults around and looking down on everyone from your high horse.
"

I did give a fact: there is nothing in a pardon that prevents other people getting pardoned later down the line. Nor does the pardon mean that only Turing is deserving and no one else is, as others have plainly argued.

This simple piece of logic and language definition is immediately apparent, or at least so I thought.

Pardoning Alan Turing does in no way or form guarantee that anyone else will be pardoned,


It gives a better chance than not pardoning.

too, and looking at how things generally work at that level only the rich or the famous will be given such special treatment.


Only because of the mass of naysayers like you and Soulbender take the wind out of the sails of a movement. It's easy to say "it will never work" and try and talk people out of it and then say "we told you so".

On the other hand, I'd prefer to suggest we get names of others in the event of a pardon.

No, the government hasn't said that only Turing will be pardoned, but neither have they said that anyone else will be pardoned, either. No matter how much you protest it that fact won't change.


Because it is up to the public to continue pushing for them, and it's easier to push for them once you have the momentum, such as pardoning Turing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: PhilPotter
by WereCatf on Sun 21st Jul 2013 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PhilPotter"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Only because of the mass of naysayers like you and Soulbender take the wind out of the sails of a movement. It's easy to say "it will never work" and try and talk people out of it and then say "we told you so".


Don't try to associate me with something I haven't done. I haven't tried to talk anyone out of anything, I am only saying that pardoning only Turing sends a very distateful message. I don't give a flying fuck if people then go and try to get the rest pardoned too afterwards, but pardoning a single, famous person and ignoring everyone else does send a message that all the other people who got prosecuted under such a hideous law do not deserve respect simply because they ain't famous.

Because it is up to the public to continue pushing for them, and it's easier to push for them once you have the momentum, such as pardoning Turing.


And I'd like to sell you this flying bike that runs on fairy dust. That is to say, by all means, go ahead. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Nor does the pardon mean that only Turing is deserving and no one else is, as others have plainly argued.


That's not a fact, that's an interpretation.

It gives a better chance than not pardoning.


That's wishful thinking, not a fact. It would be great if it did but history strongly suggests otherwise.

Only because of the mass of naysayers like you and Soulbender take the wind out of the sails of a movement.


No, its a fact. History teaches us that it's far more likely that only Turing and maybe some other high-profile cases will get pardoned and everyone else forgotten. We're not saying it won't happen, we're saying it's far more likely not to happen and that pardoning Turing without any mention of anyone else makes it a bit questionable for paving way to a blanket pardon.

But hey, if it turns out that a blanket pardon is given for everyone convicted for being homosexual within a reasonable time from now I'll admit that it worked out.

Reply Score: 3

RE: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:11 UTC in reply to "PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The law has been wrong a lot of times, not only concerning gay people.
Should we really pardon everyone throughout history who's been wrongfully convicted by bad laws?
Or is it only important when a famous person was affected?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The law has been wrong a lot of times, not only concerning gay people.
Should we really pardon everyone throughout history who's been wrongfully convicted by bad laws?


Yes, actually.

Or is it only important when a famous person was affected?


Strawman.

Not only is the government not saying no one else but Turing should be pardoned, neither are people like me who support such pardons.

I want other people who suffered under this law to also be pardoned, but I recognize, politically, that you have to grease the wheels. Therefore, this is important not because Turing is famous, but because it will make it easier in the future to get everyone else pardoned.

So nice try with the strawman, but you lose.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Not only is the government not saying no one else but Turing should be pardoned


But historically that seems to be what happens; famous people gets pardoned from wrongful convictions while regular people seems to be forgotten.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"Not only is the government not saying no one else but Turing should be pardoned


But historically that seems to be what happens; famous people gets pardoned from wrongful convictions while regular people seems to be forgotten.
"

So what? That's what happens - people forget. But forgetting is not the same as "being opposed to", which is what is being implied by everyone's commments.

That this pardon means a policy that deliberately forbids anyone else from getting pardoned.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So what? That's what happens - people forget.


By "forget" I obviously mean that they are not pardoned.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: PhilPotter
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 03:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PhilPotter"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"So what? That's what happens - people forget.


By "forget" I obviously mean that they are not pardoned.
"

Only because they are forgotten about, not because a statement was made that no one else should be pardoned. If people choose to now, they can also get those people pardoned.

All the previous comments talked about this pardon making THE statement that only one person and no other person shall be pardoned.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: PhilPotter
by Soulbender on Sun 21st Jul 2013 09:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: PhilPotter"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Only because they are forgotten about, not because a statement was made that no one else should be pardoned. If people choose to now, they can also get those people pardoned.


The point is, if the law was "wrong" then everyone convicted under it should be pardoned. There should be no need to petition for every individual to be pardoned.

Reply Score: 4

Pardon?
by galvanash on Sat 20th Jul 2013 22:19 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

In the US at least, a pardon is almost a celebrated act of populism, i.e. pardons are granted to criminals by people who have cultivated a certain level of political power, enough that they have been granted the special power to operate above the law in a sense. Look at a list of presidential pardons from a typical US president and for the most part is looks like a list of the people most deserving of the punishment they originally received. It is almost never about the law that was violated, it is about money, power, and connections.

It is almost never done to remove an unfair blemish from an otherwise notable life. Some people think Nixon was a great man. Maybe he was, but he was also guilty of a crime, and it was not an unjust law he violated. Same goes for virtually every recipient of a presidential pardon - it is not that the law was unjust, its that the person in question had connections. It is totally unfair to others who committed the same crime, but it is accepted by our society as a sort of perk to the issuer of the pardon - they get to play King for a day in exchange for their years of service.

Im not British, so maybe this is a cultural thing I don't understand. But this seems to me to be more of an insult that anything else... Pardon him? Of what? Breaking an unjust law? The problem was never about Alan Turing, it was about the law. How about condemning the law for what it was and reverse every conviction made under it... Pay some reparations or something, create an education fund for gay and lesbian students in need of financial aid.

Really, anything but calling it a "pardon" and applying it to one man - that seems almost smug in its complete avoidance of the actual injustice they are trying to set right.

Am I missing something?

Reply Score: 10

RE: Pardon?
by tidux on Sun 21st Jul 2013 00:48 UTC in reply to "Pardon?"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

You're spot on. When we finally admitted the Salem Witch Trials were wrong in the 1950s, we didn't "pardon" the "witches," Congress issued a formal apology.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Pardon?
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:03 UTC in reply to "Pardon?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

But this seems to me to be more of an insult that anything else... Pardon him? Of what? Breaking an unjust law? The problem was never about Alan Turing, it was about the law. How about condemning the law for what it was and reverse every conviction made under it... Pay some reparations or something, create an education fund for gay and lesbian students in need of financial aid.


A pardon is insulting, but "hey, I'm throwing money at you, so stop complaining" is not insulting.

Guess what, a pardon is a part of condemning the law and reversing a conviction.

Really, anything but calling it a "pardon" and applying it to one man - that seems almost smug in its complete avoidance of the actual injustice they are trying to set right.

Am I missing something?


Yes. The fact that this pardon does not in anyway say that only this man and no other person will be pardoned for this in the coming years.

People who complain about his pardon is being smug in their complete avoidance of actually trying to set things right rather than poopooing any small step towards the larger goal because they didn't get it in their first try.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Pardon?
by galvanash on Sun 21st Jul 2013 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Pardon?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

A pardon is insulting, but "hey, I'm throwing money at you, so stop complaining" is not insulting.


Fair point. They are both sort of empty gestures, but what else can you do? You can't undo it...

I think the difference to me though is that a pardon is about the man, not the the unjust law. To me Turing was a victim, there is nothing to pardon him for. At least setting up an education fund would make it obvious that the wrong that is trying to be set right is the unjust law - a pardon makes it seem that the "wrong" was that Turing happened to be prosecuted under it.

Guess what, a pardon is a part of condemning the law and reversing a conviction.


No its not. A pardon is literally "forgiving" someone for an offense they committed. That is why I find this insulting - it has no relationship at all to condemning the law. If it is about the law then make it about the law, not a particular victim.

Its not about reversing a conviction either - that is a completely different concept than a pardon... That is my point really - a pardon does not in any way condemn a law, it merely forgives someone for breaking it.

People who complain about his pardon is being smug in their complete avoidance of actually trying to set things right rather than poopooing any small step towards the larger goal because they didn't get it in their first try.


I can appreciate that point of view. Really, I can. I just have trouble seeing that as a step toward a larger goal - sometimes a "small step" is so small that it seems almost an insult. I do appreciate the efforts of the people who petitioned for it though, I just wish they had gotten more is all.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Pardon?
by M.Onty on Sun 21st Jul 2013 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pardon?"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

I think the pardon is an OK thing. Its odd, but its about OK. However I share your misgivings too. What a pardon says to me, & what I understood it to mean legally, is, "You probably didn't break that law after all, sorry you didn't get a fair trial". But everyone knows he absolutely did break that law, that law which shouldn't have existed but did. So what it now says to me is, "Sorry we decided to apply the law to you, given that you were a hero & all that". Now, that's actually understandable & as good a place as any to start as any maybe. Maybe its a stepping stone to a more complete justice as kwan_e suggests. But a 'pardon' still rings oddly to me.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Pardon?
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 21st Jul 2013 03:25 UTC in reply to "Pardon?"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Actually....pardons are given all the time to regular old criminals who have no political power behind them.

Reply Score: 3

But...
by demosthenese on Sun 21st Jul 2013 00:11 UTC
demosthenese
Member since:
2011-02-01

Firstly, I object to politicians apologizing on our behalf for things we did not do. Those who persecuted Turing are dead. I did not, neither did the current PM, and we have nothing to apologize for here.

Secondly, there is an important principle at stake here. If we allow the law to be changed and then retroactively applied, we create a precedent that can act as a double edged sword. Should we be happy that our actions now may be judged under some future and unknowable legal frame work in the future?

Reply Score: 4

RE: But...
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 01:52 UTC in reply to "But..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Firstly, I object to politicians apologizing on our behalf for things we did not do. Those who persecuted Turing are dead. I did not, neither did the current PM, and we have nothing to apologize for here.


If you benefited from the actions of a person (or persons) who was later persecuted for nothing, then you are an accomplice if you do not also apologize.

Secondly, there is an important principle at stake here. If we allow the law to be changed and then retroactively applied, we create a precedent that can act as a double edged sword. Should we be happy that our actions now may be judged under some future and unknowable legal frame work in the future?


I completely do not accept that this will create a precedent. The reason being is this case is about an unjust law, and we can recognize in the future if someone tries to retroactively apply an unjust law, rather than the rollback of one.

Reply Score: 3

RE: But...
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 21st Jul 2013 03:27 UTC in reply to "But..."
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Your government persecuted him and your government is still around...In fact the Queen should get up and publicly pardon him and apologize for what the government did in the name of her crown back then.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 01:46 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

In the Engelbart comments, I got massively downvoted for pre-empting the responses of the sort we got here, saying I was making a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Well guess what, arseholes, I was right. Just look at all the prior comments that try to spin this as something bad.

I'd probably get downvoted for this comment because they can't handle the fact I proved them wrong, leaving the arseholes above with high votes.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by kwan_e
by galvanash on Sun 21st Jul 2013 05:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by kwan_e"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Well guess what, arseholes, I was right. Just look at all the prior comments that try to spin this as something bad.


I want to make sure you understand where I am coming from with what I said in my earlier comments. I am not trying to spin this as something bad. Im not in any way saying that the efforts of those who petitioned to make this happen was wasted. I just wish there was more to it than a simple pardon... My angst is directed at the response from the government, not the efforts of those who brought it about.

That said, in retrospect you are right - it is something, and something is better than nothing. A victory in this kind of thing, no matter how small, is worth celebrating.

Edited 2013-07-21 05:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kwan_e
by M.Onty on Sun 21st Jul 2013 12:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by kwan_e"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23


Well guess what, arseholes, I was right.
...
They can't handle the fact I proved them wrong, leaving the arseholes above with high votes.


Do you think you charming way with words might have something to do with that?

Its an emotive subject, & I happen to think you're about right with your opinions on it, but you're flinging a lot of invectives around at people who are basically just suggesting different legal ways of delivering the same kind justice to the wrongly persecuted.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"
Well guess what, arseholes, I was right.
...
They can't handle the fact I proved them wrong, leaving the arseholes above with high votes.


Do you think you charming way with words might have something to do with that?
"

No.

See, in the Engelbart thread, I said something to the effect of:

"Cue the responses that say recognition of one person magically reduces the amount of recognition available for others"

In that tone. Sarcastic, yes, but not offensive at all.

but you're flinging a lot of invectives around at people who are basically just suggesting different legal ways of delivering the same kind justice to the wrongly persecuted.


This subject came up before and I was exposed to the same, unchanged, nonsensical arguments there so I saw no reason to start all over again. Start off from where I left off before, with the realization that they're arseholes, with their magical dwindling supply of recognition and pardons.

Reply Score: 1

"Geeks"
by kwan_e on Sun 21st Jul 2013 02:33 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

I'm curious. Most of us here have technical jobs.

Do any of you just sit there and whine and do nothing unless you have all the hardware and software you desire to do your job?

How many of you who have done that still have that job?

For those who answered "no" to the first question, why is it so difficult for you to transfer your pragmatism from one area of life to another?

For those who answered "yes" to the first question, did you try to argue to your boss/manager that by forcing you to work on equipment that's anything less than the best, that it magically causes your work to be the absolute worst?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Sun 21st Jul 2013 14:50 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

With the exception of loud LGBTQQFQMF crowd no one cares, including the man himself. Dead people are indifferent to the pardons of the living.

Reply Score: 5