Crime & Justice

John Lennon's Killer Is Denied Parole For A 10th Time

Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon, is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence in the Wende Correctional Facility in western New York.
Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon, is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence in the Wende Correctional Facility in western New York.
New York State Department of Corrections /AP

The man who waited outside John Lennon's New York apartment building and then shot him to death in 1981 has been denied parole a 10th time.

Mark David Chapman, 63, stood before a New York State Board of Parole panel on Wednesday. In its decision, which was emailed to NPR, the panel said that releasing him would be "incompatible with the welfare and safety of society."

It also noted that while Chapman has only one crime on his criminal history, that does not mitigate his actions.

"While no one person's life is any more valuable than another's life, the fact that you chose someone who was not only a world renown person and beloved by millions, regardless of the pain and suffering you would cause to his family, friends and so many others, you demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and the pain and suffering of others," the parole panel wrote.

Days before the parole board made its decision, fans and local politicians gathered at Strawberry Fields, the singer's leafy memorial in Central Park, to call for Chapman to remain behind bars.

Lennon's widow Yoko Ono reportedly sends the board a letter every time Chapman is up for parole. In the past, she has asked that he remain locked up for her safety and that of Lennon's sons, as well as of Chapman himself.

Chapman, who was working as a hospital security guard when he shot Lennon, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He is a serving a 20-years-to-life sentence in the Wende Correctional Facility in New York, some 30 minutes outside Buffalo.

He was first eligible for parole in 2000, and his next appearance before the board will be August 2020.

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