Chapman is currently serving a 20 years-to-life sentence after pleading guilty to killing Lennon almost forty years ago.
On Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City home by Chapman. Chapman, a crazed Beatles and Lennon fan, plotted the murder for months and did not run from the murder scene when authorities arrived. Instead, he opened up his copy of Catcher in the Rye and he waited for the cops.
Chapman, now 65 years old, is currently serving his sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in upstate Alden, just outside of Buffalo. He first became eligible for parole in 2000, but his first parole bid was quickly denied.
Now, it has been reported that Chapman has been denied parole for the 11th time. A transcription from the Aug. 19 hearing is not available at this time. However, Chapman will spend at least another two years behind bars until he is eligible for parole again in August 2022.
In past parole hearings, Chapman claimed to have found Jesus and said he will stay in prison and pay for his crime for “however long it takes, forever.”
Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono has repeatedly spoken out against Chapman’s release. She’s stated that she fears for her own safety as well as that of Julian and Sean, Lennon’s two sons. She’s also warned that Chapman could face angry Beatles fans looking for revenge if released.
Chapman was last up for parole in 2018. The panel agreed, however, that releasing him is a public safety issue. In their decision to deny parole, the panel said that “someone may attempt or succeed in harming you out of anger and or revenge, or for the same reason that you did John Lennon, to assume notoriety.”
In 2018, Chapman told the board that he has continued to feel “more and more shame” for his actions each year.
“Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now,” he said during his 2018 parole hearing. “It’s where you cover your face, you don’t want to, you know, ask for anything.”
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