In their written comments, the commissioners told Chapman they had concerns “about the disregard you displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life.” After considering the action he took in 1980, they concluded Chapman’s “discretionary release remains inappropriate at this time and incompatible with the welfare of the community.”
Has it really been 30 years since Chapman shot and killed John Lennon just outside Lennon’s New York City apartment? Whenever I’m near Strawberry Fields in Central Park, I try to stop for a moment at the Imagine mosaic that serves as a memorial to the former Beatle. And I always find myself asking the same question: Why in God’s name would anyone gun down a musician? A pop musician, no less. The pop musician who sang, “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” for cryin’ out loud!
Yes, those are rhetorical questions. In Chapman’s twisted little brain, his seemingly random attack made perfect sense…somehow. He’s 55 years old now…has served 29 years of his 20-years-to-life sentence…has enjoyed conjugal visits with wife, Gloria for the past 20 years.
You can’t help but think of Yoko Ono, and how he denied her the years of intimacy and love that he gets to enjoy. Ono has always opposed Chapman’s parole; just last month saying she still considers him a threat to her family – and perhaps himself.
I can’t help but wonder though, at what point does keeping Chapman in prison quit being about protecting society, and is more about our continuing need to punish this man for his imbecilic, senseless act of violence? When he’s 65? 75? Or will it only be after most of us who remember that December day in 1980 have passed away?
Part of me wonders about this; but another part of me really wants him to just rot away in that prison cell. Sigh…what a conundrum for a bohemian boomer with bleeding heart liberal tendencies.
Mark David Chapman will once again be up for parole in August 2012.
Conundrum to be continued…