John Lennon's Killer Denied Parole For The Seventh Time
John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman was denied parole for the seventh time yesterday (August 23rd). A statement released by the State Department of Corrections said Chapman was interviewed via a video conference from the Wende Correctional Center in upstate New York on Wednesday, and that a full transcript of the conference would be released later. On May 15th, Chapman was transferred to a new prison after spending over 30 years at New York's Attica Correctional Facility. Lennon's killer is now incarcerated at Alden, New York's Wende Correctional Facility, 20 miles east of Buffalo. A spokesman for the state prison system went on record as saying "the agency doesn't disclose why inmates are transferred to a new facility."
Parole board member Sally Thompson wrote in the State Department of Corrections' rejection of Chapman's parole: "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."
Chapman will be eligible for parole once again in 2014. Chapman is now 57-year-old and is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for murdering Lennon in front of his New York City apartment on December 8th, 1980.
Chapman has been turned down for parole in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 -- and now 2012.
Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who had previously written the parole board stating that she and Lennon's two sons Julian and Sean Lennon would never be safe should Chapman be released, claimed in 2008 that it would be Chapman who would face danger if paroled, telling The New York Daily News, "It's dangerous for him to come out. Not only for us, but for himself. (It's) not so much because of punishment. There are so many people out there who dislike him. It's safer for him to stay in jail."
Chapman, who had been living in Hawaii at the time of the murder, stalked Lennon for days in New York City, and even briefly met Lennon's then-five-year-old son Sean outside the apartment building the day he gunned Lennon down.
His stalking and murder of John Lennon was the subject of two independent films released in 2007, The Killing Of John Lennon and Chapter 27.
Chapter 27 got its name from a supposedly "missing" chapter from J.D. Salinger's novel A Catcher In The Rye, which Chapman was obsessed with in the months before the murder. (The book as published contains 26 chapters, and Salinger, who died in January, never implied that there was ever an extra chapter.) In an early 1990's interview while in jail, Chapman reportedly admitted to fantasizing about writing a 27th chapter of the book in Lennon's blood.
For the past 20 years, Chapman has been receiving conjugal visits with his wife Gloria Abe, through a state program called "family reunion" which allows prisoners to spend up to 44 hours at a time in an unsupervised home setting on prison property.
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