Joe Exotic sends letter to President Trump asking him for a pardon

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) –Joe Exotic, the star of Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ documentary, sent a letter to President Trump asking him for a pardon of his 22-year sentence. 

The sentence is currently being served for a murder-for-hire conviction. The letter, part of a more than 200-page application for pardon and obtained by Yahoo Entertaintment, was sent from the Fort Worth prison Joe Exotic, whose legal name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is in. The pardon comes five months after an exchange between Trump and a reporter during a news conference about the possibility of pardoning Maldonado-Passage.  

“…If you have thoughts on pardoning Joe Exotic?” the reporter asks. 

“I’ll take a look,” president Trump said. 

Maldonado-Passage started the letter writing, “If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you. Not because I need you to save my life, but because you stand for what you believe no matter what anyone thinks.” 

Photo goes with story
Pardon request letter sent to President Donald Trump from Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, aka Tiger King. Courtesy Yahoo News.

“Pardons are very rarely granted,” said Bob Wyatt, a lawyer in Oklahoma City with the Wyatt Law Office. 

KFOR reached out to Wyatt wondering if he had a shot at being pardoned. Wyatt said the pardoning process is rigorous 

“Their rules provide that you have a five-year waiting period from completion of the term of your sentence,” Wyatt said. “Or, if there was no sentence, but a conviction, from the end of your conviction.” 

The letter continued with Maldonado-Passage claiming that he was a victim. He wrote, “When I saw 2 assistant U.S. attorney’s, 2 F.B.I. agents and 1 federal wildlife agent set in court and know their witnesses were lying under oath and even helped them I was ashamed of our country.” 

“A full pardon would restore the prisoners’ rights, so Joe Exotic would have all of his rights to vote restored, gun rights, things of that nature,” Wyatt said. 

Joe Exotic ended the letter with, “Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please.” 

“It’s exclusively his choice and he decides, yes or no,” Wyatt said of President Trump. 

According to Yahoo Entertainment, Maldonado-Passage also sent letters to Donald Trump Jr. Wyatt said even if given a full pardon, Joe Exotic would have to note any previous felony convictions in the future. 

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