While President Donald Trump isn’t among the 34 million people to have watched Netflix’s Tiger King about zoo owner Joe Exotic‘s 22-year prison sentence for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill rival Carole Baskin, he’s willing to give Joe’s case a look. A reported asked him about it during the COVID-19 briefing on Apr. 8 and whether or not he’d consider pardoning Joe. “I know nothing about it…he has 22 for what? What did he do?” Trump asked the reporter. He then asked the the young man, “You think he didn’t do it? Are you on his side? Are you recommending a pardon?” before saying, “I will take a look.” The reporter also noted that his son Don Jr. has already semi-joked that he was going to advocate for Joe’s release.
The show has become a massive hit for Netflix, being one of the first new things to drop as many states went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. Despite being a seven part series, Americans are starved for new material to watch, making Tiger King a runaway hit. It also helps that the characters involved are all so colorful with some albeit sketchy pasts. Not to mention that whole dealing in exotic cats issue that animal rights activist Carole was lobbying to help stop. Even though it would have killed Joe’s livelihood in selling exotic cats for up to $5K a piece as practically newborn babies.
Criminal defense attorney Lance Lazarro tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that, “It would be my belief that there are a lot of people more deserving than him. But either way it should go through the normal channels, as opposed to the president’s son, meaning the justice department should do an evaluation. But just based on the facts my opinion is that it should be denied.”
A reporter just asked if Trump would pardon Joe Exotic from Tiger King and Trump said, "I will take a look." pic.twitter.com/f0c0R8QmDy
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 8, 2020
Lance continues, “There is a process through the justice department, you have to make an application through them and then they actually make a recommendation to the President, which is the normal process. But I believe that most of the pardons that President Trump has given out to date have not gone through the normal channels. It’s usually been based on friendship to the President, which is something that we have never seen nor should we ever want to see where people can get pardoned because of who they know. With President Trump it’s not out of the question.”
As for Joe’s 22-year prison term, “I would say that is not an abnormal sentence, it is not a life sentence. And it’s not a sentence to me that is unduly harsh. I think if you couple the animal abuse with the attempted murder 22 years is not a sentence that is overly harsh,” Lance adds.