The murderer of John Lennon was smacked down by the New York parole board for the third time:
- The board said Tuesday’s decision was based on the “extreme malicious intent” Chapman had shown in shooting the former Beatle in Manhattan in 1980.
….The board told Chapman he had “a clear lack of respect for life” and subjected Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono to “monumental suffering by her witnessing the crime”.
The decision to keep him behind bars was based on an interview, a review of records and deliberation, the board said.
“During the interview, your statements for motivation acknowledges the attention you felt this murder would generate,” they told him.
“Although proven true, such rationale is bizarre and morally corrupt.”
The statement said Chapman’s “positive disciplinary record” in jail was taken into account.
But it added: “To release you on parole at this time would significantly undermine respect for the law.”
His previous applications for parole – in 2000, when he first became eligible after serving 20 years, and in 2002 – were also turned down. [BBC]
More from the BBC:
- Ono wrote to the board opposing the release, saying Chapman remained a threat to her and Lennon’s sons, Sean and Julian.
She said Chapman’s release would “bring back the nightmare, the chaos and the confusion once again”.
Ono was with the musician when he was assassinated outside their apartment in the Dakota Building, New York on 8 December 1980.
Lennon had signed a copy of his Double Fantasy LP for Chapman earlier that day, before leaving for a recording studio – but the killer struck on the star’s return home.
Chapman claimed voices in his head urged him to shoot, and he fired into Lennon’s back.
He has said: “I felt like nothing, and I felt if I shot him I would become something – which is not true at all.”
Chapman claimed his mental instabilities had cleared within seven or eight years of killing the musician.
Throughout his sentence, Chapman has been held at a separate facility in a maximum security prison in Attica, in New York state.
He further enraged Lennon fans in 2000, when he said he thought the musician would want him to be free.
“I think he would be liberal, I think he would care,” he said.
Before Tuesday’s decision, John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, also spoke out against Chapman’s release – but said she had not been consulted by the parole board.
She said she had no doubt that “somebody will try to kill him” if he was released.
- Over 6,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the release of Chapman.
“Chapman committed a heinous crime, unprovoked and without remorse,” the petition says. “He should not be free to harm anyone else. … Please do not let this man back on the streets.”
Some of those who signed the petition included threats of violence against Chapman if he were released.
In her letter to the parole board, Ono said Chapman would not be safe outside of prison. “He will cease to have the security that the state provides him now.”
Coincidentally, last week a judge ordered the release of the last 10 pages of the FBI’s secret files on Lennon.