"Pardoning" gays

Dunno if you’ve seen this story, in the UK;
*Thousands of gay and bisexual men found guilty of decades-old sexual offences in England and Wales have been posthumously pardoned.

The enactment by the government of the so-called Alan Turing law means about 49,000 men will be cleared of crimes of which they would be innocent today.*

Alan Turing you may recall as being played by Bandicoot Chickenbroth in that film he was in.

To cut to the chase, do you agree with the idea of posthumously ‘pardoning’ people for crimes that should never have been crimes in the first place?



I think it’s a good thing. It doesn’t accomplish anything tangible, since most of the people are long dead, but symbolic gestures can be important. It’s an acknowledgment that morals have changed and that most of society no longer thinks people should be held criminally liable for some consensual buggery, and additionally that such prosecutions in the past were fundamentally unjust.

It’s not the best phrasing, but it’s an acknowledgement that it should never have been a crime.

I don’t think this is promoting LGBT. If people read about gays being “pardoned”, it is creating a “gay = criminal” connotation in their mind.

Isn’t it saying that they are no longer guilty of being gay?

I can see how it could be interpreted that way, but I prefer to think of it as saying that being gay is something that shouldn’t have rendered them guilty.

It’s an acknowledgement that laws have changed. Laws <> morals.

It needed to come with a more emphatic apology. “We have apologised” doesn’t cut it.

It’s true that laws are not the same as morals, but laws change all the time without rendering past criminal convictions null.

The UK repealed its gross indecency statute in 1967; the movement for posthumous pardons for those crimes is much more recent. That indicates to me that the primary motivation for the pardons is the recognition that the law was morally wrong and unjust.

Why not?

This seems like the most direct way to publicly acknowledge the sentiment that “we were wrong you were blameless.”

Totally good, and should be extended to some other “crimes” as well.

I’ve seen friends hauled off and interrogated, then thrown out of the military for it, and I myself have been interrogated just for knowing them. It’s scary and just fucking ridiculous to be treated like some WWII commie spy over it. And of course the interrogators are just the slimiest scumbags you ever met and they lie their asses off.

Them: “We have witness and video tape!”
Me: “So?”

It’s definitely an injustice that needs fixing.

I’m sure it makes the people who pardoned them feel better. The people who were posthumously pardoned are beyond being benefited or harmed. There’s nothing more the government can do to them.

Does a pardon officially mean “you’ve committed no crime”, or does it mean “you’ve been forgiven”?

The former is cool, the latter can go fuck itself.

It can mean either.

It’s basically a legal mechanism by which the executive reverses a conviction. The executive might do so because it’s satisfied that you were wrongly convicted - you never, in fact, committed the acts with which you were charged. Or it might do so because, as an act of mercy or for other policy reasons, it feels you should not be punished (or further punished) for what you did. Or (as in this case) while you did commit the acts and they did constitute a crime at the time, it was unjust that those acts were criminalised and it would be a continuing injustice to label you a convict or to impose any continuing or further punishment on you as a convict.

There is nothing you can give a dead man that has any meaning to him at all.

Of course it’s not for the dead. It’s highly symbolic for the living, however which is a damn good thing.

The act of pardoning shows that the people should not have been convicted under an unfair, unjust law.

But I don’t think it has that social connotation at all. “Pardon” typically comes across as, “Person X committed a crime, but we have decided to forgive it.”

AIUI, if someone was wrongfully convicted of a crime, they would consider a “pardon” to be a slap in the face. A pardon ***reinforces ***the perception of guilt.