The 61-year old Chapman was refused release — for the ninth time — Saturday. Although the rationalizing supporting the ruling was not stated; previously the Parole Board has said that letting Chapman out would weaken “respect for the law.”
Chapman killed Lennon on December 8, 1980, as the singer returned home to their Dakota House apartment after a record session.
Confined for 20 years to life, Chapman is being held at upstate Wende Correctional Facility.
Of the two letters sent opposing Chapman’s parole, one from Ono. Her attorney, Jonas Herbsmn said the message reaffirmed earlier letters to the committee. In those letters, Ono said she feared for her safety and the security of Lennon’s two sons if Chapman was released.
Ono’s previous letters also stated concerns for Chapman himself should a Beatle’s fan seek revenge.
Chapman is held in protective confinement — against his will — and functions in administration as a clerk. Presently he is permitted to be out of his cell at least three hours a day.
In previous parole hearings, Chapman has said to be willing to pay for his crime in prison “however long it takes.”
Chapman, who has learned how to fix wheelchairs while in prison, said at his 2014 parole hearing that he knows a minister who has agreed to take him in if he is released.
Parole is a method of letting approved inmates serve part of their sentence in the community. A Parole Board decides if a prisoner meets the criteria of not presenting an “unacceptable risk” the community’s safety.
Inmates on parole are supervised and have to comply with specific conditions. The conditions are designed to protect the community as well as monitor an inmate’s circumstances and behavior.
Inmates are not freed from their sentence during parole. Inmates on parole continue to serve their time — they just do it in the community where they can continue rehabilitation and restore relationships. Parole also aids inmates to adjust so they can become contributing members of society.
What Parole is Not
- Parole is not the shortening of a prison sentence
- Parole is not given for compassionate reasons
- Parole is not a reward for good behavior
- Parole is not automatically granted to first-time offenders
- Parole is not consideration for being unable to engage in a therapy plan