Mark Chapman: from left, 1980, 2010
Mark Chapman, 57, was sentenced to 20-years-to-life in 1981 for shooting The Beatles’ singer outside his New York apartment in late 1980. He has been denied parole six times since 2000, and now is awaiting his seventh attempt.
Chapman was last denied parole in 2010 when the New York state parole committee claimed his release would be “inappropriate” and pointed out that his “disregard” for human life was a crucial element behind their decision.
According to the BBC news, during Chapman’s last parole interview, he told the board he believed that by murdering Lennon he would “become somebody.” He said, “I wasn’t thinking clearly. I made a horrible decision to end another human being’s life, for reasons of selfishness. I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies.”
The parole board’s decision on whether or not Chapman will be released will be made public within a week, though if it were up to Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, and for obvious reasons, that decision would be a definite negative. She has been known to write prison authorities every couple years since 2000, opposing the idea of her husband’s killer being set free.
UPDATE: TMZ is reporting that Chapman’s parole has been denied for the seventh time!