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Archive for Thursday, October 10, 2002

Lennon killer denied parole

October 10, 2002

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— John Lennon's killer was denied parole for a second time, state officials said Wednesday on what would have been the slain Beatle's birthday.

Releasing Mark David Chapman after 22 years in prison would "deprecate the seriousness" of the crime, the parole board said in a statement released Wednesday morning. The board said Chapman had "acceptable" behavior in prison but that didn't guarantee he wouldn't pose a threat to society.

State Parole Division spokesman Thomas Grant said the timing of the notice and what would have been Lennon's 62nd birthday wasn't intentional.

At his first parole hearing two years ago, Chapman said he did not deserve to go free. He will be up for parole again in 2004.

Chapman, 47, is serving 20 years to life for shooting Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment in 1980 as the former Beatle returned from a late-night recording session.

Transcripts of the latest hearing were not immediately available. At his parole hearing two years ago, Chapman said: "I believe once you take a person's life, there's no way you can make up for that. Period."

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, did not immediately respond to a request for comment left at her New York office.

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