Alan Turing and the condemnation of the criminal law

Read my article in the Justice Gap, ” Alan Turing and the condemnation of the criminal law“.

” February in LGBT history month and so it seems only fitting that BBC 2 recently named Alan Turing their icon of the twentieth century. When the award was read out, Chris Packham who had championed his cause, reminded everyone that Alan Turing was a gay, autistic man who was driven to suicide. His contribution to the world we live in cannot be underestimated. He was a mathematician whose secret work cracking the encrypted codes of the German navy during world war two was said to have shortened the war by two years. But more importantly, the machines that he created as part of his life’s work became the computers we have today. Even as you read this, it’s not from a newspaper or a magazine but off a screen. We might not know quite how it works but what we know is that Alan Turing’s name will forever be associated with this miracle of modern technology.But Alan Turing’s death forms part of his story and whereas in life he made an indelible mark on the world, he made a mark in his death too. In the early 1950s Alan Turing met a man called Arnold Murray. He was 19 years old and Alan was in his late thirties. A relationship began, quietly behind his front door. But Arnold Murray, attracted to the middle-class academic, was from a different background. He told a friend about their relationship who then broke into Alan’s house, no doubt in an attempt to try and blackmail him because it was against the law to engage in any sexual activity with another man.” 

To carry on reading you can click this link, ” Alan Turing and the condemnation of the criminal law“.

By Natalie Smith