Mark David Chapman, the man responsible for John Lennon 's death has been denied parole for the seventh time, prison officials said on Thursday (August 23, 2012). Mr Chapman, who shot dead the legendary Beatles star in 1980, attended a New York State Board of Parole hearing on Wednesday only to be told that despite his good behaviour, he would not be freed on this occasion.
The board said in its decision, "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". Chapman will get another chance in two years, and the board have praised his good conduct, "educational accomplishments" and "remorse", though they noted the "significant opposition" to his release. According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono had written to the board saying that she believed Chapman still posed a risk to her, as well as Lennon's two sons. Releasing the man who gunned down one of the biggest musicians of all time in cold blood would obviously present numerous problems - and the board appear to be aware of this. In 1981, Chapman was sentenced to between 20 years and life in prison for shooting Lennon outside his apartment building near New York's Central Park. Mentally unstable and just 25-years-old at the time, Chapman had staked out the building and even had Lennon autograph a copy of his latest album 'Double Fantasy' earlier in the day (the chilling photograph of the meeting no doubt still haunts Lennon fans). Chapman eventually pleaded guilty to murder and is currently being held at the Wende maximum security prison in Alden, New York. After his unsuccessful hearing in 2010, the three-member parole board cited "The disregard you displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life" as their reasons for rejecting his request.
As Chapman hinted that he would go after the likes of Johnny Carson and Elizabeth Taylor should he be released (during his 2010 hearing), it's likely that on this occasion: life really might mean life.