Computer Pioneer Alan Turing Pardoned of ‘Gross Indecency’

British mathematician who broke the Nazi's coded messages was sentenced under a law that criminalized homosexuality

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Alan Turing, the British mathematician who laid the theoretical groundwork for modern computing and cracked coded messages from the Nazis, received a royal pardon on Tuesday.

Turing was convicted under a late 19th-century law that criminalized homosexuality. He was forced to undergo chemical castration in 1952.

U.K. Justice Minister Chris Grayling requested the pardon, calling the sentence “unjust and discriminatory.” Said Grayling: “Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science.”

Turing died from cyanide poisoning in 1954. In 1999, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century for his contribution to science.