Mark David Chapman, 57, appeared before a three-member parole board on Wednesday. The transcript of the hearing was not immediately released.
Chapman shot and killed the Beatles legend outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
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.
"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.
Chapman was recently transferred to Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison. He can try again for parole in two years.
The former security guard from Hawaii said that his motivation was instant notoriety but that he later realized he made a horrible decision for selfish reasons.
"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies," Chapman told the board two years ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.