"Tiger King" Joe Exotic asks Trump for presidential pardon

by Laura Mize · Apr 1st, 2020 10:28 am

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic or Tiger King, has requested a presidential pardon via his Facebook page, as well as filed a $94 million lawsuit from behind bars.

Netflix released a documentary series called "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness" in late March. The popular series focuses on Maldonado-Passage and several other people who own or work with exotic animals.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving time in federal prison after being convicted last year on murder-for-hire charges, falsifying wildlife records, and euthanizing five tiger cubs, in violation of the Endangered Species Protection Act. Prosecutors argued during his trial that Joe Exotic had hired two people to kill rival big-cat owner Carole Baskin. One of the men hired simply never did the job; the other was an undercover FBI agent.

Maldonado-Passage wrote on Facebook that federal agents and prosecutors prevented jury members in his trial from "seeing the real witnesses and seeing the real evidence in order to get you to convict an innocent man."

The post continues with a letter addressed to President Trump that directly asks for a presidential pardon.

"I know by seeing your passion and conviction regarding our rights as American Citizens that this isn't what you meant by your belief to 'Let's Make America Great Again', Mr. President, I am pleading with you to please have this looked into," he wrote.

About two weeks ago, Maldonado-Passage posted documents from a lawsuit filed in March against U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, several current or former federal employees, and a few private individuals. The lawsuit seeks damages for his mother's death, malicious prosecution, false arrest and imprisonment, and other charges.


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