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US prison rejects parole for Lennon assassin for 9th time

Mark David Chapman, the murderer of former Beatle John Lennon, was denied a ninth request for release, according to the prison authorities of the State of New York on August 29, 2016/AFP

Mark David Chapman, the murderer of former Beatle John Lennon, was denied a ninth request for release, according to the prison authorities of the State of New York on August 29, 2016/AFP

NEW YORK, United States, Aug 30 – Mark David Chapman, who murdered former Beatles legend John Lennon, has been denied parole for a ninth time, New York state prison officials said on Monday.

“I can confirm that he has been denied. I don’t have any other details at this point,” a prison spokeswoman told AFP.

The denial comes two years after Chapman’s last parole request was rejected.

At the time, New York State parole officials told him in writing that his release “would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

Lennon, who would be 75 if he were still alive today, was gunned down by Chapman on December 8, 1980 at his apartment building near Manhattan’s Central Park.

Chapman, 61, is an inmate at the Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Alden, New York. He received a sentence of 20 years in prison to life for the murder of the legendary singer and composer.

The inmate, who is believed to suffer from mental illness, became eligible for parole in 2000, but the parole board that year and at each subsequent review every two years has refused to free him.

The next time he can be considered for possible release will be in August 2018.

Lennon, born on October 9, 1940 in Liverpool, England, gained such celebrity with The Beatles that he once quipped that the band was “more popular than Jesus.”

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Later in his life, after the breakup of the band, Lennon and his wife, Japanese artist Yoko Ono, increasingly devoted their attention to pacifist activism.

Ono is on record as being fiercely opposed to Chapman’s release.

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