“Tiger King” star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, has asked President Trump through a handwritten letter for a pardon.
Maldonado-Passage is best known for being the subject of Netflix’s hit show “Tiger King.” The show takes a look at Maldonado-Passage’s life running and living at the Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and the rivalry he had with big cats activist, Carole Baskin.
His hatred became so strong towards Baskin that he allegedly had hired his zoo’s handyman Allen Glover and paid him $3,000 to kill Baskin. However, Glover denies he was ever going to follow through and Maldonado-Passage says the money was a donation, per Fox News.
This eventually led to Maldonado-Passage being arrested in 2018. He was found guilty of 19 different charges, including an attempted murder for hire. He is currently serving a 22-year federal prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas, per CBS News.
USA Today reported that on Tuesday, Maldonado-Passage filed an application with the U.S. Department of Justice seeking a pardon. The application includes character affidavits as well as letters of support and a handwritten letter from Maldonado-Passage to Trump.
“Joseph is scheduled to be released from custody in 2037; however, with his compromised health, he will likely die in prison,” his attorneys wrote in the application. “He humbly requests a pardon to correct the injustices he has experienced and to have the opportunity to return to providing meaningful contributions to his community.”
CBS obtained a copy of Maldonado-Passage’s letter and it reads, “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.”
He continues to explain to Trump his situation writing, “My parents and my life and everything we ever worked for was stolen by criminals who got everything we had for nothing.”
“I am asking you to listen to your own son Donald Jr. and make this right and grant me a miracle, ‘a pardon,’ and let me put this behind me and go save my dad ... and go live my life with my husband ‘Dillon.’ Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud,” the animal enthusiast pleaded. “To make the Lord proud. Be my hero, please,” Maldonado-Passage writes.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Justice said it would be premature to comment on the status of the application, per USA Today.