Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s Killer, Denied Parole for 11th Time

by Chris Haney
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Mark David Chapman, John Lennon‘s killer, was denied parole for the 11th time on Aug. 19, officials reported. The Board of Parole rejected his request which means Chapman must wait at least another two years until he is eligible for release.

Chapman, 65, has been in jail for almost 40 years since pleading guilty to the murder of the legendary Beatles front man. Lennon was shot by Chapman outside his home at the Dakota apartment building in New York City in 1980. The killer had planned the murder for months, and did not run after shooting Lennon. Instead, he leaned against the building and calmly read a copy of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” as he waited for the police to arrive.

In spite of being originally sentenced to 20 years in prison, Chapman has been denied parole repeatedly. He is currently being held outside of Buffalo, NY at Wende Correctional Facility in upstate Alden.

During previous attempts of parole, Chapman stated that he’s found Jesus and taken on the Christian faith. Chapman claimed that he’s at peace paying for his crimes in prison “however long it takes,” even if that means forever.

Mark David Chapman Still Worries Lennon Family

John Lennon and Yoko Ono photographed on November 2, 1980 – the first time in five years that Lennon had been photographed professionally and the last comprehensive photo shoot of his life. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

Lennon and his partner, artist Yoko Ono, moved to the Dakota building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood in 1973. Ono still maintains residence in the famous apartment to this day.

Lennon’s widow has continuously lobbied against Chapman’s release. Ono fears for not only her own well-being, but the safety of Lennon’s two sons as well, Julian and Sean. Ono has also advised that Chapman could face retaliation from infuriated Beatles fans looking to avenge the famous musician’s death.

Chapman was last eligible for parole in 2018, and the panel agreed with Ono’s stance. The panel wrote in their conclusion that Chapman’s release could be a public safety issue. They said since “someone may attempt or succeed in harming (Chapman) out of anger and or revenge, or for the same reason that you did John Lennon, to assume notoriety.”

In 2018, Chapman told the board he felt “more and more shame” each year for his actions.

“Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now,” Chapman explained during his last appearance. “It’s where you cover your face, you don’t want to, you know, ask for anything.”

[H/T New York Daily News]

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