John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, was denied release from prison on his eighth appearance before a parole board on Friday, according to New York corrections officials. The decision was handed down by a three-member board, following a hearing on Wednesday.
The board determined that Chapman should continue to serve his sentence for the killing of former Beatles member, John Lennon. The musician was gunned down on December 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment where he lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side as he returned home from a late night recording session with wife, Yoko Ono. Chapman fired five shots at close range, four of which hit Lennon, killing him.
Members of the parole board that examined John Lennon’s killer’s petition denied it because they feared Chapman would get out and commit more crimes. The 59-year-old is serving 20 years to life at New York’s Wende Correctional Facility and will not be eligible for parole for two years.
According to the board, John Lennon’s killer could potentially violate the law if set free at this time:
“…the panel has determined that if released at this time, there is a reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law.
“…your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”
The panel also made reference to the fact that mere hours before killing John Lennon in cold blood, the singer had been kind to Chapman and had autographed a copy of his new album for the murderer.
“This victim had displayed kindness to you earlier in the day and your actions have devastated a family and those who loved the victim.”
When John Lennon was killed by Chapman, the world was left to mourn one of its most prolific songwriters and more significantly, a pacifist. But no one suffered more devastation than his widow, Yoko Ono, who witnessed the crime and again expressed her desire that Chapman be denied parole at this time.
Ono said that she not only opposed Chapman’s release because he is John Lennon’s killer, but out of fear for her and the singer’s two sons’ safety. Ono also expressed concern for Chapman’s own safety, as angry fans could harm him if released.
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