No mercy for the 12th time: John Lennon’s killer remains in custody

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No mercy for the twelfth time
John Lennon’s killer remains in custody

It’s been more than 40 years since Mark David Chapman shot and killed former Beatles singer John Lennon in New York. He has been in prison ever since. The pleas of the now 67-year-old for pardon continue to fail. Same now.

It was one of those crimes that made headlines and shocked the world: Late in the evening of December 8, 1980, American Mark David Chapman fired a revolver at former Beatles singer John Lennon. The British musician initially survived the attack outside his apartment in Manhattan, New York, but succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

Chapman, who had a file signed by Lennon signed a few hours before the crime, was arrested without resistance immediately after the murder. Mental confusion was confirmed to him. He himself pleaded in the trial to find him guilty. And so it happened: In 1981, he was sentenced to between 20 years and life. Chapman was 26 at the time.

Since then, the killer has been in custody without interruption, although he has been transferred several times between different prisons. After 20 years behind bars, Chapman seized his first chance to plead for his release. But his application was rejected, among other things, because of the seriousness of the crime.

Yoko Ono wants to see him behind bars

From then on, Chapman took advantage of the opportunity to reapply every two years. But time and again he faced rejection. That is also the case now that the now 67-year-old has submitted a request for the twelfth time after almost 42 years in pre-trial detention, the American broadcaster NBC reports.

Chapman was questioned by the responsible committee about his application at the end of August, NBC reports based on information from the authorities. The details of the hearing have not yet been made public, but Lennon’s killer has shown remorse on previous occasions. Accordingly, he called his act “despicable” around 2020. He could therefore not complain if he were never free again.

“I only killed him for one reason… because he was very, very, very famous and I was very, very, very interested in personal fame. Very selfish,” NBC quoted a previous statement from Chapman.

His remaining in prison may also have to do with the attitude of John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono. She has spoken out strongly against ever releasing him. In February 2024, Chapman will have the next opportunity to plead for a pardon.

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