Many people will welcome the granting of a retrospective royal pardon to Alan Turing, and there can be no doubt that those who have campaigned for one have been well-intentioned and moved by perfectly understandable feelings. But Andrew Hodges is absolutely right in his criticism (Report, 24 December). The fact is that Turing was properly convicted of what was at the time a criminal offence. There was no doubt about the soundness of the conviction, and there were no extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Lord McNally was accordingly quite right to decline the request for a pardon, harsh as his decision doubtless appeared to many.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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