Lennon killer Mark David Chapman denied of parole for seventh time
Mark David Chapman — the man who shot and killed former Beatles member John Lennon 32 years ago — has been denied parole for a seventh time, this according to New York State’s Department of Corrections.
Reports said that 57-year-old Mark David Chapman is currently serving a jail sentence of 20 years to life for shooting John Lennon in the back four times outside the artist’s New York City apartment building on December 8, 1980. Chapman entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder.
Since 2000, Chapman has come up for parole every two years, but has unfortunately been turned down every time.
Parole board member Sally Thompson wrote to Chapman, saying, “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.”
Earlier this week, a parole board hearing on the case of Mark David Chapman was held at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alden, New York, where he is being held.
John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono remained steadfast in her objection to parole for the killer of her husband, who she said in the past posed a risk to her, Lennon’s two sons, the public, as well as Chapman himself.
“Mrs. Lennon’s position remains consistent with the prior letters,” said Ono’s attorney, Jonas Herbsman.
In a letter to the parole board back in 2000, Yoko Ono said that the release of Chapman would be a betrayal of justice and might even encourage other people who feel inclined to kill celebrities to gain some form of attention.
“If it is at all possible, I would like us not to create a situation which may bring further madness and tragedy to the world,” Ono wrote.
Attorney Herbsman said that Ono will not be giving a comment on the 2012 parole board’s decision.
Back in May, Mark David Chapman was transferred to Wende from Attica Correctional Facility — the maximum-security prison in Attica, New York, where Chapman had been held for 31 years.
At the time, a corrections spokesman said that Chapman was placed under protective custody at Wende. However, the reason was not made known to the public. Wende can be found in western New York, east of Buffalo.
A spokesman for the corrections department said that on Monday, Mark David Chapman learned that he had been re-approved for the family reunion program of the prison’s system. This allows him to have visits from his wife and stepfather.
Under this program, Mark David Chapman will be able to spend 48 hours with his relatives in a trailer situated within the prison at least once a year, and he is also allowed to apply for additional visits. The said trailer has a lounge, two or more bedrooms and a kitchenette, but there are no cameras or guards inside.
“We regard the family reunion program as a management tool that encourages good behavior by inmates under our custody as well as keeping them connected to their families while they’re in prison,” said Peter Cutler, the spokesman for the state’s Department of Corrections.
“Many studies have proved that by staying connected to their families inmates have a far better chance of returning to the community successfully,” Cutler added.
Mark David Chapman was previously approved for the family reunion program, but had to reapply after being transferred from Attica to Wende Correctional Facility. The corrections department said it does not make public the reasons for inmates being transferred.
Normally, Chapman is held in his own cell in the prison’s protective custody unit, where he can see only other inmates within the unit, Cutler said.