Lord Sharkey’s amendment to clear Turing’s conviction

Lord Sharkey, William Jones and John Leech MP

Justice for Alan Turing could be a step closer today as an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill tabled by Lib Dem peer Lord Sharkey is being debated at the Lords.

The amendment (below) would allow the relatives of Alan Turing and others who were convicted under the same, or similar, laws to apply to have the conviction disregarded posthumously.

“Where those convicted of offences have the right to apply to have these convictions disregarded, the relatives of those similarly convicted but now deceased also have the right to apply on their behalf to have those convictions posthumously disregarded.”

Lord Sharkey explains his amendment,

“Today, I shall be making a simple amendment in the Lords.  If accepted this amendment will mean that all those gay men convicted under laws now repealed may have their convictions disregarded – those alive and those who have since died.

This of course, includes Alan Turing, but would also bring some comfort and conclusion to the friends and relatives of thousands of others.”

So what is a disregarded conviction? Basically it wipes the slate clean. It means that the records are changed so that it is as though the person did not commit the offence, wasn’t charged for it, wasn’t prosecuted and wasn’t sentenced.

It would mean that everybody who was affected by the various homosexuality laws this country has seen could finally lose the indignity of being regarded a criminal.

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