Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Forgiveness Possible

Mark David Chapman, who murdered John Lennon on December 8, 1980, is up for parole in early August. He will be interviewed by a three-member parole board panel for the sixth time. He was originally given a sentence of 20 years-to-life for his crime, and is allowed to apply for parole every two years since he became eligible for release in 2000.

Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, music partner, soul mate and the mother of his younger son, Sean, has consistently opposed Chapman's parole on the ground that she and his two sons would not feel safe for the rest of their lives. She also makes the valid point that Chapman, himself, would be in danger since he killed one of the most beloved figures in the world. In fact, he has been incarcerated in a special unit apart from Attica Prison's general population since he began serving his sentence.

The board denied Chapman's last request for parole in 2008, citing the massive impact of his crime. "Your conduct thus precipitated a horrendously tragic event which has impacted many individuals," the board wrote. "Your discretionary release at this time would thus not be compatible with the welfare of society at large, and would tend to deprecate the seriousness of the instant offense, and undermine respect for the law."

It is unthinkable that this man should ever be free again. He shot John Lennon at close range as John and Yoko returned home from a recording session, and Yoko has been forced to live with these gruesome memories for nearly thirty years. John's sons Julian and Sean have had to grow up without their father, and the world has been deprived of the music and wisdom John would surely have produced if he had been allowed to enjoy a normal life span.

Chapman is now 55 years of age, while John Lennon would have been 70 this October.

Please sign this petition asking the NY Parole Board to deny Chapman's release.


nick said...

I think you're absolutely right, not only would Yoko and her sons feel permanently unsafe but Chapman would probably be killed within days. He can only be kept in jail.

John's death was indeed a huge loss not just to his family and friends but to the whole world. He would have produced a lot more amazing music.

Pseudo said...

First time visitor here. Great post and I am off to sign the petition.

TechnoBabe said...

I signed the petition. I so agree with you. I hope he never is allowed out. Everything he is sadly is the opposite of what John Lennon was and is in what he left us.

Kimberly said...

No killer of another human should walk free not just this man.

The Fool said...

I was born on the same day as Lennon (October 9), so there's always been this strange personal connection or affiliation with the man. I idolized him as a kid...even wore Lennon style glasses for years. His death was a huge loss for me. and the world. Although he was often derided for his statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ...there is a certain irony in the fact that his last words were, "I am." He was a man of peace in violent times. His killer should remain in jail.

TaraDharma said...

I'll sign, happily! Why even waste the governments money and time considering parole for this killer?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's hard to imagine John Lennon's fans killing anyone if they actually got his message, but it would be unconscionable for Yoko, Julian and Sean to be put in a dangerous situation which could and should be avoided.


Thank you for signing, and for your visit!


It would be wrong in so many ways, and must not be allowed to happen.


It was one of the most ghastly events of our cultural lifetime. He should truly rot in prison.

Thank you for coming by!


Then you also share his son Sean's birthday. That IS special.

I always thought that John's remark which you reference here was meant as a commentary on bad values of a society that would put rock stars above Jesus. The fact that it was taken as an egotistical statement affirmed those bad values. And like Jesus, John's wisdom and intelligence were above the reach of most people.


Why, indeed? Yes, please sign the petition, everyone, and pass the word to those you know. Thank you!

secret agent woman said...

So many murderers are released, only to kill again. I am vehemently opposed to the death penalty, but I do think we ought to be better about enforcing life sentences.

The Fool said...

I agree, Heart...and just so folks don't misinterpret his final words...his "I am" was in response to "Are you John Lennon?" which was asked of him in the ambulance.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I was profoundly affected at a young age by Camus' "Reflexions on the Guillotine," but in recent years I have softened my stance on the death penalty somewhat, particularly concerning those who molest and murder children. I'm not sure exactly where I stand now, but if we parole vicious killers from life sentences, aren't we just winking at the system? And that is terribly wrong, so yes, put them away for life and really mean it.

Chapman needs to be in prison for life. He has never shown remorse and in fact, is proud of having murdered Lennon. What is to stop him from going after John's family if he is not locked up? That simply must not happen.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, I know. He was asked if he knew who he was but was unable to speak. God, just thinking of it is still horrifying beyond words.

Maria said...

Signed. WOW. 70. He would have been seventy....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, imagine what he would have accomplished in those 30 lost years!