John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, was denied parole today for the seventh time.
"You shot and killed an innocent victim, an international music star," the New York State Board of Parole wrote to Chapman. "Your actions clearly demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life."
Chapman, 57, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life for gunning down the Beatle outside of his Manhattan apartment complex on Dec. 8, 1980.
For his seventh parole hearing, Chapman was interviewed by video conference at the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, N.Y., where he is being held.
The parole board noted that Chapman's record does not have any prior convictions and that they took into consideration his good conduct in prison, educational accomplishments, his remorse, letters of support and "significant" opposition to his release.
But the board decided that "parole shall not be granted for good conduct and program completions alone."
"Therefore, 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 board wrote.
At Chapman's last parole hearing in September 2010, he told the board that there were other names on his list of potential targets, including Johnny Carson and Elizabeth Taylor and two others he could not recall.
"I was going through that in my mind the other day; I knew you would ask that," Chapman told officials during the 2010 hearing. "Johnny Carson was one of them. Elizabeth Taylor. I lose memory of perhaps the other two."
"If it wasn't Lennon, it could have been someone else," he said.
Chapman said he chose the Beatle because he was the most accessible target on his list.
Yoko Ono, the wife of the late musician, said in 2010 that she opposed paroling Chapman and believed he could be a danger to her and her family.
Chapman became eligible for parole on Dec. 4, 2000, according to the New York Department of Corrections.
The Department of Corrections released an updated photo of Chapman that was taken on May 15, 2012. Chapman's next scheduled parole hearing will be in August 2014.
- Politics & Government
- Mark David Chapman
- Wende Correctional Facility
- John Lennon