UK Government Won’t Pardon the Late Alan Turing

During World War II, Alan Turing, who is known as the father of modern computing, devised the Turing Bombe, a codebreaking device that was used to decipher the Nazi enigma codes, up to 3,000 messages per day. He was also gay, and two years after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being homosexual and sentenced to undergo hormone therapy, he killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple.

TuringPetitioners recently collected more than 20,000 signatures in an effort to get the UK government to officially pardon Turing.

That won't happen, the BBC reports, as Justice Minister Lord McNally dismissed the motion in the House of Lords:

Mr Turing was one of the key members of the staff at Bletchley Park that worked to crack the German's Enigma codes, and Lord McNally acknowledged that in light of this work he had been treated harshly by the authorities.

"It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd, particularly… given his outstanding contribution to the war effort," he said.

"However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times."

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an apology to Turing in 2009.

Turing's life may soon be the subject of a film, and rumor has it that Leonardo DiCaprio is interested.