October 3, 2000
7:11 AM   Subscribe

Almost two decades ago (19801208), Mark David Chapman fired the fatal gun shot which killed John Lennon. Today, Chapman will meet with the New York State Board of Parole to convince them of his reform. (You can be my) Yoko Ono has written the Board, requesting the denial of Chapman's parole out of safety for herself, Sean and Julian.

Should Chapman be paroled?
posted by chrish (19 comments total)

 
do the crime, do the time. If the parole board decides that he is ready to return to society, then so be it. We should be ready to let Chapman back into society.

The issue here is that people do not feel like prison is rehabillating people. The common perception is that once someone has gone to jail, they come out worse. This is not a problem with the people who go to jail. This is a problem with the jail system. Until we have a system that works, we will continue to see this type of reaction to a parole announcement.

We should be glad to hear that Chapman, or any other former criminal, has been deemed able to return to society. I am sure that is what John Lennon would have thought.

All we are saying... remember?
posted by DragonBoy at 7:54 AM on October 3, 2000


>We should be glad to hear that Chapman, or any other former criminal, has been deemed able to return to society. I am sure that is what John Lennon would have thought.<

I understand that chapman thinks so, too.

I'm sure john would have liked to have been here to make his own choice.

>Should Chapman be paroled?<

nope.

rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 9:18 AM on October 3, 2000


I'm sure if Chapman had killed a "ordinary person", he'd already be out. If he served his time, he should be let out - there can't be any exception simply because his crime was directed at a celebrity.

Now I'm not saying Chapman is reformed, that I don't know, but that should be strictly for the board to decide. And as far as the board should be concerned, it shouldn't matter if it was John Lennon or John Smith.
posted by mkn at 9:20 AM on October 3, 2000


He won't be paroled. He killed a Beatle, and a visionary at that, and the general populace will do their best to keep him in jail as long as possible, including the Parole Board.

If I was MDC, I think I'd want to stay in prison. His face is widely known (it was re-broadcast during every news story about this parole) and I think he'd have quite a tough time making to and from the market without severe harassment, at the very least.
posted by Awol at 9:24 AM on October 3, 2000


He killed a Beatle, and a visionary at that...

Oh please. This mythologising of John Lennon needs to stop. What was his vision? "Imagine no possessions"? Well, as Bill Hicks noted, that's easy to say when you're a millionaire. He wrote a load of damn good songs, and died before his time. Let the Parole Board decide, and have done with it.
posted by holgate at 10:29 AM on October 3, 2000


The only real reason I can see for keeping him in is that he is a violent criminal and that he obviously has severe mental problems, yet was put into prison not into an institition. Though its going to really come down to "bad press" and blind celebrity worship.
posted by skallas at 10:51 AM on October 3, 2000


I agree that he won't be paroled because of the celebrity status of the man he killed.

I also agree that this shouldn't change the playing field.

but then, I don't think we should ever parole convicted murderers, rapists, and the like, no matter how reformed they become. I really don't. I think you lose your privilege to walk around among people by behaving that way. you can do as much good as you can from behind bars, write philosophy, convert other inmates, teach them, whatever. but that's where I think you should stay.

rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 11:08 AM on October 3, 2000


All we are saying is give peace a chance. Peace of mind for Yoko, for Sean and Julian, for George and Olivia, for Paul and his kids and his lady, Heather, for Ringo and his loved ones. Let's reverse engineer this, and use MDC as an example of what can happen to celebrity stalkers and killers. Then let's apply it to the stalkers and killers of everyday working class heroes. Leave 'im in.
posted by Lynsey at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2000


MDC redux: looks as if the parole board agrees. “Parole
is denied.” The board called Chapman’s killing of Lennon
“calculated and unprovoked.” In addition to being one of
the most famous musicians in the world, Lennon was also
a “husband and a father of two young children,” the board
said.They said, "Your most vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged. During your parole hearing, this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety.”

(Courtesy of http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/chapmanlennon001003.html)
posted by Lynsey at 12:20 PM on October 3, 2000


I don't think we should ever parole convicted murderers, rapists, and the like, no matter how reformed they become.

And yet, that's precisely what's been done in Northern Ireland, often for multiple killers who've served single-digit sentences, because it's considered the only way to peace. Not that this is in any way comparable to Chapman's case, but suggests that sometimes you have to put aside principles for the greater good.
posted by holgate at 1:30 PM on October 3, 2000


Update: Access denied.
posted by chrish at 1:33 PM on October 3, 2000


holgate:

the united states isn't in the middle of a civil war. of course I wasn't addressing the complexities and strategies of trying to bring peace to a warring nation.

I was commenting on our legal system in the present.

rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2000


Be reassured.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2000


When are you people going to learn that prison is meant for punishment and not reform or rehabilitation. On the subject of Chapman, i had the pleasure of seeing an interview he gave with someone, well the impresion i got was that he is delusional.
posted by Zool at 4:34 PM on October 3, 2000


He should be paroled.

When hell freezes over.

Or maybe play it safe. Twenty years after hell freezes over.
posted by Zeldman at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2000


Sure, let him out.

Where we can get at him.
posted by webmutant at 2:18 AM on October 4, 2000


It said somewhere (always a reliable source) that he wanted to be released so he can play his own music, and go on a world tour. So at least, at the time when he said that, he's still quite damn nutty.

posted by aki at 3:59 AM on October 4, 2000


I think webmutant's wry comment "where we can get at him" is exactly the reason that Chapman can never be realeased. I suspect he would be killed within days if he were. Should he be paroled? That's a valid, difficult question, even neglecting the fact that he murdered an uber-famous man. Can he be paroled while preserving his safety? I highly doubt it. I cannot see that they can ever release him (and on a personal note, I guess I don't really think they should, either. He still sounds very out of it to me.)
posted by cheekychk at 7:38 AM on October 4, 2000


the united states isn't in the middle of a civil war.

Neither is Northern Ireland. But that's by the bye.
posted by holgate at 10:20 AM on October 4, 2000


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