Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Turing Bill

It has been proposed that there should be a retrospective pardon for those like Alan Turing who were convicted, which has been called a "Turing Bill," and the government has promised to support this.

(It does not in fact apply to Alan Turing himself as he was given a posthumous Royal Pardon by the Queen in 2013.)

 However, there is more than one different proposal about exactly how it should be done.

Why then did Tory minister Sam Gyimah MP filibuster an SNP proposal yesterday to grant such pardons (in support of which Nigel Adams was speaking in my quote of the day.)

There has been a lot of outrage on social media about this, with the suggestion being made that the government has abandoned the promise. This is not necessarily correct as is explained by Kevin Maxwell in an article in the Independent which you can read here.

As he says,

"It was argued the SNP MP John Nicolson’s Bill would have wiped clean all historical sex crimes, whereas the Government said it wanted to ensure that offences that are still on the statute book today are not pardoned – such as those committed against children."

There was a lengthy and excellent debate the last three hours of which including the minister's speech can be read here.

You can read here details of the government's preferred route to a "Turing Bill" type pardon thorough an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill – now supported by the Government – put forward by the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Sharkey.

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