Mark David Chapman is a real nowhere man--as in, he ain't going nowhere for the time being.
For the second time in two years, New York state officials have denied parole to the man who shot John Lennon, saying the premediated and vicious nature of the crime indicated that Chapman was still a threat to society.
In an eerie coincidence, the decision was handed down on Wednesday--what would have been Lennon's 62 birthday.
Chapman, 47, is currently serving a sentence of 20 years to life in Attica for gunning down the Beatle outside the landmark Dakota building on Manhattan's Upper West Side on December 8, 1980.
The slaying took place in front of Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, as the couple returned home from a recording session.
In interviewing him Tuesday for his latest bid for freedom, parole board members noted Chapman's efforts to rehabilitate himself over the years, but said letting him go at this time would "deprecate the seriousness" of the crime and "diminish respect for the law."
"You have acknowledged that you planned this murder for several months intending to wipe out this international celebrity for being a hypocrite living a decadent lifestyle," the three-member panel said in a brief written statement to Chapman that was released Wednesday. (The complete text of the decision is available at The Smoking Gun Website.)
The board also noted the maliciousness of Chapman's fatal attack on the peace-loving rock star. Chapman used .38 caliber hollow-point bullets--the so-called cop-killer bullets "designed to be especially destructive."
The state parole board said it could not guarantee Chapman could successfully reintegrate himself back into society.
"Your behavior record continues to be very positive," the parole board writes. "[But] your current positive adjustment in this controlled and highly structured environment cannot predict your community behavior."
Chapman, who once claimed his troubled relationship with his father was to blame for the Lennon murder, reportedly resides in a secluded cell apart from the general Attica population for his own safety. He is said to spend his days working as a clerk.
He has kept a low profile behind bars, save for three "minor incidents" between 1989 and 1994, including citations for holding up an inmate count and refusing to follow instructions.
Chapman first came up for parole two years ago, but board members refused to spring him after Ono went public, writing a letter that said she feared for her and her family's safety and that Chapman's release would only "bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion once again."
Ono has not yet commented on the latest ruling.
Chapman's next parole hearing is scheduled for October 2004.