Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon in New York in December of 1980, has not been granted parole in his seventh appeal.
Mark David Chapman murdered Lennon outside the star’s building, The Dakota, in Manhattan more than thirty years ago and was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison for the killing.
Chapman became eligible for parole back in 2000, nearly 20 years after he was sentenced. Every two years, he is allowed to request parole, and, in recent years, he has been frank and accepted responsibility for the crime that shook the entertainment world and began to usher in a fear of obsessed fans among celebrities.
Chapman has, in parole hearings in recent years, explained that he thought that by killing Lennon, he would “acquire his fame” and has added:
“I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies.”
Yoko Ono, the 79-year-old widow of John Lennon, has opposed parole for Chapman and said she does not feel she is ready for her husband’s killer to walk free. The parole board appears to agree, and, on their most recent decision, board member Sally Thompson commented:
“Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime.”
“The panel notes your good conduct, program achievements, educational accomplishments, positive presentation, remorse, risk and needs assessment, letters of support, significant opposition to your release and all other statutory factors were considered. However, parole shall not be granted for good conduct and program completions alone.”
Mark David Chapman may apply again for parole in 2014.