Alan Turing, the cryptographer and mathematician whose work was credited with shortening the Second World War, has been pardoned. Turing, a gay man, was convicted of gross indecency following consensual sex with a man in 1952. Ordinarily, a pardon will only be granted if the person is believed to have been innocent of the offence and the request is made by a family member. Turing met neither criteria, but his application was supported by a petition of over 37,000 people. Of course, this comes far too late for Turing, who poisoned himself over 60 years ago at the age of 41. (previously)
Yesterday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 97, the Scottsboro Boys Act allowing for posthumous pardons. Bentley has said he wanted to close a chapter of state history. The Scottsboro case led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision against excluding Blacks from juries. [more inside]
In 2004, Gurgen Margaryan (from Armenia) and Ramil Safarov (from Azerbaijan) were in Budapest attending a NATO-sponsored language training. While Margaryan was sleeping, Safarov hacked him to death with an axe. Safarov, who never denied his culpability and stated he only committed the crime because Margaryan was Armenian, was sentenced to life in prison in 2006. [more inside]
"A Giant Among Giants[FP]: Glencore -- founded by famous fugitive Marc Rich [Salon] -- has cornered the market on just about everything. Now that it's going public, will its ties to dictators and spies stand up to scrutiny?" [more inside]
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has declined to pardon William H. Bonney, aka Kid Antrim, aka Henry McCarty, but best known as Billy the Kid. [more inside]
Bush Pardons Turkey. Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings : 2:1
yesterday the times printed an op-ed by clinton in which he made a case for his controversial pardons. [mefi partisans went at it] -- today the times editorial attacks that very piece AND prints a safire op-ed attacking it as well.
Bill Clinton Op-Ed on the Marc Rich pardons: "I want every American to know that, while you may disagree with this decision, I made it on the merits as I saw them, and I take full responsibility for it".