Alan Turing was once a hero in England.
Then, in 1952, Turing was outed, leading to a very public trial, conviction and chemically castrated for “gross indecency.” He killed himself two years later.
Now, 60 years on, the British government is honoring Turing by including him in a series of twelve new “Britons of Distinction” stamps set to be released next month.
George Broadhead, secretary of the Humanist group the Pink Triangle Trust, celebrated Turing’s inclusion in a press release. “This is richly deserved,” he wrote. “It is well known that Turing was gay, but perhaps not so well known that he was a staunch atheist. There are many other famous gay atheists past and present — Christopher Marlowe, Maynard Keynes, Stephen Fry and and Michael Cashman among them — but Turing is probably the most notable since his breaking of the Enigma Code went such a long way in saving the UK from defeat in the last war.”
Though Turing’s picture is not featured on the new stamp – one of his eponymous machines is, instead – the news is just the latest step in a decades-long effort to redeem Turing’s image. Perhaps the biggest development came in 2009, when then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for Turing’s treatment.
“While Mr Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him,” Brown said at the time. “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was convicted, under homophobic laws, were treated terribly.
A new petition is now asking that the government to offer an official posthumous pardon for Turing. One of Turing’s supporters, programmer John Graham-Cumming, actually opposes this petition, because it still assumes other gay men convicted under since-scrapped laws were guilty of something wrong.
“You either pardon all the gay men convicted (including, most importantly, those that are still living with criminal convictions) or you do nothing,” he contended last month.
NO SURPRISE HERE. HE WAS AS GUILTY AS A POLITICIAN.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for political corruption including attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then president-elect Barack Obama.
Blagojevich, who turns 55 on Saturday, must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence or about 12 years.
He was convicted of seeking jobs and campaign contributions in exchange for state government action. Blagojevich, a Democrat who was ousted from office in 2009, had asked U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel for mercy, saying he was “unbelievably sorry.”
Zagel said before sentencing that he accepted Blagojevich’s apology, but “it comes too late.” Zagel disputed the defense theory that Blagojevich was misled by his staff.
“The governor was not marched along the criminal path by his staff,” Zagel said. “He marched them and ruined a few of their careers.”
OR NOT. THIS FROM TMZ………
Lindsay Lohan will almost certainly get out of jail in a matter of minutes … this according to officials from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Two Sheriff’s Dept. officials tell us … if someone receives a misdemeanor sentence of 90 days or less, they are routinely processed in and then released. As one of the officials put it, “She’ll be out without even having to change her clothes.”
Judge Stephanie Sautner sentenced Lindsay to serve 30 days in the pokey, adding that the only way to shave time off the sentence is if it’s required by law. A Sheriff’s official told us earlier this week … misdemeanor inmates only serve 20% of the actual sentence because of overcrowding. But the 2 officials we spoke with today say … because of overcrowding they immediately release inmates sentenced to less than 90 days.
As for what the judge said — that the sentence can only be reduced if required by law — the officials say there’s a federal court order on overcrowding that “trumps everything,” and that order has been interpreted to immediately release people with short jail sentences.
FROM THE LA TIMES……
L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner said that throwing Linsday Lohan in jail for violating her parole is not a good option because of the growing number of felons being housed there.
Under a controversial new law, prisoners who commit nonviolent and non-sex-related crimes, such as low-level drug offenders or thieves, will be kept in county jails instead of going to state facilities.
The change is a result of budget pressures and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that required the state to lower its prison population by 30,000 inmates due to overcrowding.
“The jails are going to be filled with felons,” she said.
Sautner revoked Lohan’s probation Wednesday and the actress was taken away in handcuffs.
But Lohan is expected to make her $100,000 bail later in the day and be released.
Sautner said Lohan deliberately “blew off” the 360 hours of community service that she had been ordered to complete at the Downtown Women’s Center, missing nine appointments and putting in just 21 hours.
[Updated at 11:48 a.m.: Sautner made it clear she’d lost patience with Lohan, alternately mocking the actress and questioning her commitment to the community service she'd been ordered to complete.
“Ms. Lohan’s actions deliberately made it impossible for her to perform her sentence at the Downtown Women’s Center,” Saunter said, noting Lohan’s European travels.
Saunter said Lohan completed only 21 hours of the required 360 hours community service before being kicked out for failing to show up on nine occasions.
The judge said Lohan eventually told a probation officer that the work at the women’s shelter was “not fulfilling.
“Is that what a sentence is about?” Saunter asked. “It’s to fulfill the defendant?”
The judge answered her own question: “No.”
“We all can’t be fulfilled by what we do,” Saunter added.
Lohan’s attorney said she was told by sheriff’s deputies that the actress would likely be free by 2 p.m.