Sunday, August 19, 2012

Slow, Painful Karma

So this week Mark David Chapman is up for parole for the seventh time.

You remember Mark David Chapman. On December 8, 1980, he murdered John Lennon in cold blood.

And had the goddamn nerve to ask for an autograph earlier
in the evening. Bastard.
He's 57 years old now and has been in prison for 31 years. He's growing old behind bars.

But not old enough or fast enough.
Should this now late-middle-aged man be released? Has he served enough time for a crime he committed supposedly while in a psychotic state of mind?

John would be almost 72 today if he had been allowed
to live. But he wasn't.
Most of me wants Chapman to rot in jail until the term of his miserable existence expires. Putrid idiotic Holden Caulfield-bullshit-spouting waste of a soul sick bastard. I hope you live to be 93 and spend every last minute of it in solitary confinement except for rats and bedbugs.

But a part of  me - a small part, a part I'm not particularly proud of but can't deny - would be OK with the parole board deciding Chapman has done his time and no longer poses a threat to society. Let him walk, says that small voice inside me.

Because I know in my heart he wouldn't live long. It wouldn't be me - my anguish over John Lennon's death has always been internal and emotional rather than visceral. But someone out there, someone who, like me, suffered and cried and felt hollow inside when John was murdered, will surely take out his pain on the one who caused it. I give Mark David Chapman three weeks on the outside before someone guns him down the way he gunned down the Smart Beatle.

My spirit of Christian forgiveness withers and dies in the face of this person. I would feel no sorrow for a violent resolution to his existence. No one else on the planet draws that kind of venom from me. Thirty-one years have gone by, and what the world lost that day still feels enormously tragic. It still bites and stings. I can no more provide a rational explanation for my bitter emotions than I can bring John back to life. And I can no more erase them than I can erase the line that was drawn between who I was before he died and who I became after.

So listen to the facts, parole board. Weigh the pros and cons of keeping Mark David Chapman imprisoned vs. turning him loose on a waiting world. Make your decision, and then live with it.

I think justice will continue to be served either way.

I miss you, John.

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