Joe Exotic—the former zookeeper now best known as the subject of Netflix’s Tiger King (and an increasingly absurd number of Tiger King-inspired projects)—has been in prison since 2019, after he was convicted of trying to talk an undercover FBI agent into murdering his long-time critic and enemy Carole Baskin. Now, a federal judge has ordered that Exotic’s prison sentence be shortened… by one year, to 21 years in prison.
This is per AP News, reporting on efforts Exotic (a.k.a. Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage) and his legal team have been pushing for the last year or so, after it was discovered that he was suffering from stage one prostate cancer while in prison. That (and arguments that his two attempted murder charges against Baskin should have been treated as a single charge in terms of sentencing) led an appeals court to call for a resentencing for Exotic…which, again, turned out to be for a single year.
Not surprisingly, Baskin (who will soon be portrayed by Kate McKinnon in Peacock’s upcoming Joe Vs. Carol, opposite John Cameron Mitchell as Exotic) testified as part of the appeal, asserting that Exotic is, if anything, more dangerous now that he’s significantly more famous thanks to the docuseries. (The court room was reportedly packed with fans of Exotic’s, all offering support for a shortened sentence.) “He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” she told the court.
Exotic’s attorneys argued that Exotic would receive improper treatment for his cancer if he remained in prison for his full sentence, calling it a “death sentence for Joe that he doesn’t deserve.” Exotic, who’s currently 58, reportedly pleaded with the judge, “Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free.”
Tiger King initially debuted on Netflix back in March of 2020. A second season aired on Netflix in November 2021.