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Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Yoko opposes Lennon killer parole
John Lennon
20 years on Lennon fans still grieve his death
By New York correspondent Jane Hughes

The New York state parole board has held a hearing to consider whether to grant parole to Mark Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon 20 years ago.

A decision is expected within the next day or two.

Mark Chapman appeared before a three member panel to argue that he should be granted his freedom because he has been a model prisoner and because he says he has overcome the psychological problems which led him to shoot the ex-Beatle outside his apartment in Manhattan.

Mark Chapman
Mark Chapman says he wants to live an ordinary life
But the board also heard by letter from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who has made it clear she would fear for her safety if he was released.

And they were sent a 1,500 signature petition from Lennon fans demanding that Chapman stay behind bars. The board is not thought likely to look favourably on Mark Chapman's application.

It is rare for any murderer to be granted parole on his first application, let alone the killer of one of the best known and most admired rock musicians the world has ever known.

BBC Choice's Liquid News programme will be carrying a special report on Chapman's parole application on Tuesday at 2030 BST/ 2130 GMT.

Click here to see the show live.

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See also:

03 Oct 00 | Entertainment
John Lennon's legacy
25 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's killer speaks out
12 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's Liverpool homage top song
07 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Unique Beatles recording lost
08 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's birthday tribute
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