You know him best as Joe Exotic, but when he was found guilty of hiring someone to kill Carole Baskin, as well as a handful of other charges relating to animals, he was sentenced as Joseph Maldonado-Passage. A federal jury found him guilty on multiple charges, which included — aside from murder for hire — eight counts of violating the Lacey Act by falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act for killing five tigers and selling tigers across state lines.
As a result, Tiger King subject Joe Exotic was expected to spend decades in prison. Now, Carole Baskin is offering to help reduce his time in some way, though it's not clear if she has the power to do that. Still, it begs the question of how long Joe Exotic is really slated to spend behind bars as he continues to maintain his innocence for most, if not all, of the convictions.
What is Joe Exotic's prison release date?
Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison, making his release date sometime in the year 2037. In early 2021, he even tried to receive an official pardon from former President Trump but, clearly, that didn't happen. When President Biden was sworn in, Joe Exotic shifted gears and set his sights on getting the newly inaugurated president to pardon him instead.
According to TMZ, Joe Exotic sent multiple emails to Biden from prison asking for a pardon and even addressed Vice President Kamala Harris, imploring her to fight for his freedom. As of right now, no political official has sided with the idea of pardoning or overturning any of Joe Exotic's convictions.
Carole Baskin is willing to help him get out sooner.
The one person who might have a hand in changing Joe Exotic's prison release date is the woman he was accused of trying to have killed, the charge that landed him in jail in the first place. Carole Baskin's husband Howard Baskin told Mirror that he and Carole would be willing to help Joe Exotic's case if he would be willing to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act to prevent private ownership of lions and tigers and the exploitation of them.
Carole clarified to Entertainment Tonight that she would need to see action from Joe Exotic first, however.
"I wouldn't seek a reduced sentence for Joe based upon him just saying he'd help end cub handling," she said. "I think he'd say anything, but not actually do it. He'd have to actually work with authorities to bring all of his buddies to justice and work with legislators to end cub handling. Then, I'd want him to be rewarded for having done the right thing."
Joe Exotic, on the other hand, told Entertainment Tonight that he wants to see Carole hold up her end of the bargain or not say anything at all.
"It is time for Carole and Howard to put up or shut the hell up because I'm accepting their offer," he told the outlet. "And I'm gonna take it one step further than that, OK?"
He said that Carole and Howard need to call President Biden "or whoever they need to that they've got in their little financial pocket" and let them know what he is willing to do for a pardon or reduced sentence.
For now, Joe Exotic remains incarcerated and his 2037 prison release date has not changed.