Painting of John Lennon.
John Lennon's assassin was denied parole again. CC by Melissa Bowman Photography & Creative Design/Flickr

Some crime is so hideous that the perpetrator will never leave the confines of prison in their lifetime. Mark David Chapman is just such a person, like Charles Manson or Sirhan Sirhan. Chapman was the person who shot John Lennon to death at point blank range on Dec. 7, 1980 outside Lennon’s apartment building, the Dakota. Recently, Mark David Chapman became eligible for parole, for the sixth time. The opinion of Chapman on the part of the parole board has not changed. He was denied parole again. He seems to have no fans out there. Few people would like to see him go free.

Mark David Chapman parole application denied

Mark David Chapman has served the minimum of his sentence already, according to ABC. He was originally sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He started serving his prison term in 1981. He had pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of John Lennon. His first attempt at parole, in 2000, was not successful. He has been able to reapply for parole every other year after that. He applied again for parole this year. He was denied for the sixth time, as the parole board felt his release would not be in the best interests of the community. There has always been vociferous opposition to him being granted parole, especially by Yoko Ono, the late John Lennon’s wife.

Catcher in the deranged mind’s eye

There is another rather cultish component regarding Mark David Chapman, namely his obsession over J.D. Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” The book, and the main character Holden Caulfield, were cited by Chapman as the prime motivations for why he murdered one of the Beatles — one of the greatest popular music figures of all time. Caulfield is an angry teenager, rebelling against the “phoniness” he finds in adult life and institutions. The book has been a classic for a long time. However, the association with several assassinations and attempts gave it greater cult status. John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, was also a fan of the book.

He’s better off behind bars

Mark David Chapman’s crime was one of the most notorious incidents of the last 30 years. The parole board agreed the community is better served with him behind bars, according to CNN, and that was the reason the board denied his request. The next time he will be eligible for parole will be in 2012.

Citations

CNN: http://cnn.com/2010/CRIME/09/07/new.york.chapman.parole.hearing/index.html

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=11580349

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