Mark Chapman Says He Deserves Death for Killing John Lennon
Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon dead in 1980 and has been in prison ever since his arrest, said he deserved the death penalty in his most recent parole hearing.
He’s eligible for an application to be freed every two years, although he’s been denied each time. In the transcript of his most recent hearing, which took place in August and has just been published, Chapman extended an apology to Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.
“I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime,” he told the parole board at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York (via NME). “I have no excuse. This was for self-glory. I think it’s the worst crime that there could be to do something to someone that’s innocent.”
He repeated his previous admission that he killed Lennon only because of his fame. “He was an icon," Chapman noted. "He was someone that spoke of things that now we can speak of and it’s great.”
Describing the murder as “an extremely selfish act,” Chapman said, “I’m sorry for the pain that I caused to [Ono]. I think about it all of the time. … When you knowingly plot someone’s murder and know it’s wrong and you do it for yourself, that’s a death penalty right there, in my opinion. Some people disagree with me, but everybody gets a second chance now. I deserve zero, nothing. If the law and you choose to leave me in here for the rest of my life, I have no complaint whatsoever.”
The death penalty was abolished in New York in 2007. The parole board rejected Chapman's appeal on the basis that it “would be incompatible with the welfare of society.” He can apply again in 2022.