John Lennon’s killer is due to come up for a parole hearing but a Brooklyn lawmaker is trying to stop the rock star’s murderer from getting out of prison.
On Aug. 15, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis held a protest rally with Beatles fans at Strawberry Fields, the section of Central Park named for a famous Lennon song, to call on the New York State Parole Board to reject a parole plea from Mark David Chapman.
Chapman, who is now 63 years old, shot and killed Lennon outside the entrance to Lennon’s apartment building, the Dakota on Central Park West, on the night of Dec. 8, 1980. Lennon was 40 years old.
Chapman’s parole hearing is set for Aug. 20. He has been denied parole nine times before and remains in prison.
But the parole board has raised eyebrows by granting parole to killers responsible for the murders of cops, Malliotakis said, adding that the board’s actions are adding to concerns that Chapman may walk free.
Malliotakis, a Republican who represents portions of Bay Ridge and Staten Island, held the rally with Q104.3 Radio personality Jim Kerr.
“Many of us were guided through both the toughest and most beautiful moments of our lives by the iconic music of John Lennon and the Beatles. Mark David Chapman robbed John Lennon’s sons of their father, his wife of her husband and the world of a beautiful soul who touched the lives of millions,” Malliotakis said.
“Next week, the New York State Parole Board will review Mark David Chapman’s case for the 10th time. I strongly urge this parole board to follow in the steps of nine prior boards and ensure that Chapman remains in prison,” she continued.
The city dedicated Strawberry Fields in Lennon’s honor a few years after his death. The site is located near Central Park West at 72nd Street. The name is derived from “Strawberry Fields Forever,” a Beatles song Lennon wrote in the 1960s.