Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MDC up for parole

Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon nearly thirty years ago, will be up for parole in early August. It's his sixth bid. For each one, Yoko has submitted a letter to the parole board, stating her opposition to Chapman's release.

In that letter, Ono wrote that if Chapman is released, "I am afraid it will bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion once again. Myself and John's two sons would not feel safe for the rest of our lives."

She also wrote that Chapman, now 55, would not be safe if allowed back on the streets.

. . .

Robert Gangi, head of the prisoners' rights group, Correctional Association of America, doubts Chapman will be released because of the public outrage it would cause.

"Given that he commited a high profile crime and he killed one of the most famous and most beloved figures literally in the world, it's highly unlikely three parole commissioners would vote to grant him release," Gangi said.

Editorial note: While I identify with many progressive views on U.S. prison policy and would rather that Chapman's bid for parole not be influenced by the heated emotions tied to John's death, I do think there's a compelling argument to be made that Chapman would not be able to live a safe and secure life outside of prison. The day-to-day routine he now has might be the best he could reasonably hope for.

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