Will Oscar Wilde finally be pardoned?

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Is Oscar Wilde about be posthumously pardoned? In a symbolic gesture announced by the government on Thursday, deceased gay and bisexual men convicted of sexual offences that are no longer illegal will have their criminal records wiped….

The complexity of the evidence that led to Wilde’s conviction in 1895 for gross indecency – including evidence of procuring male prostitutes – would make it difficult to assess. The gay rights organisation Stonewall suggested that the playwright and author, who was sentenced to two years hard labour in Reading jail, should now be entitled to a pardon.

Read more: Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated – Owen Bowcott – The Guardian – October 19, 2016

Here is “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde, from the viewpoint of a jailed man witnessing events surrounding the execution of another prisoner.  It contains the stanza:

A prison wall was round us both,
Two outcast men we were:
The world had thrust us from its heart,
And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
Had caught us in its snare.

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