You may already be aware Queen Elizabeth out of the goodness of her heart issued a “mercy pardon” for Alan Turing almost 60 years after he committed suicide when the British courts had him neutered for the heinous crime of being a grossly indecent homosexual. (Isn’t homosexuality always grossly indecent in Britain?) At least she didn’t wait as long as the Vatican did to pardon Galileo for the crime of being right while the pope thought he was being ridiculed. Had she issued the pardon within two years after ascending the throne the suicide could have been prevented, but gays didn’t need mercy in those good old days.
To put this into perspective, Turing led a pretty useless life. He not only broke Germany’s enigma code, shortening WW II considerably, he helped design the machines that automated the code-breaking process when no key was available. He was a mathematician, logician, and is best known for modeling a general-purpose computer which still bears his name. He formalized the concepts of algorithms, computability, Turing reduction, Turing completeness, and Turing degree as well as being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He worked in two different laboratories developing early variations on the first stored-program computers. He wrote a paper on what later became known as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactions, which were only discovered 8 years after his death.
There is little question that he lived a wasted life, and the queen, her empire, and the world could just as well done without him. Now the U.S. can start working on pardons for the Salem witches. If we get through that in the next century, we can retroactively save their lives. I can only thank God that the queen found the mercy in her heart, but only after the House of Lords had already passed a bill for statutory pardon on Oct. 30 of this year.