Mark David Chapman, 57, was denied parole by a three-member board after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said. The transcript of his latest hearing wasn't immediately released.
Chapman can try again for parole in two years.
Chapman shot Lennon in December 1980 outside the Manhattan apartment building where the former Beatle lived. He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The musician, singer and songwriter was 40.
"Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime," board member Sally Thompson wrote. Board members Joseph Crangle and Marc Coppola agreed.
The panel praised Chapman's conduct and accomplishments but said "parole shall not be granted for good conduct and program completions alone." The board noted there was significant opposition to his release.
Chapman was transferred in May from the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York to the nearby Wende Correctional Facility. Both are maximum-security. The prison system doesn't disclose why inmates are transferred.
At his previous hearing in 2010, Chapman recalled that he had considered shooting Johnny Carson or Elizabeth Taylor instead, and said again that he chose Lennon because the ex-Beatle was more accessible.