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Tiger King's Joe Exotic gets a new, slightly shorter prison sentence

Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix's hit documentary series Tiger King, has been resentenced to slightly less time in prison.

A judge on Friday resentenced Exotic, the former zoo operator whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, to 21 years in prison in the murder-for-hire case, less than the 22-year sentence he had previously received, according to The Associated Press

Maldonado-Passage was convicted of trying to hire two men to kill Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist he was feuding with, and he was sentenced to 22 years behind bars in January 2020. But the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in 2021 that he must get a new sentence because two murder-for-hire counts against him should have been grouped together, The Los Angeles Times reports. "Baskin was neither murdered multiple times nor assaulted multiple times during attempted murders," the court documents said. "Her harm was one sustained, ongoing harm." Maldonado-Passage was also convicted on animal abuse charges. 

Baskin testified at the resentencing hearing on Friday, the AP reports, telling the court Maldonado-Passage "continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me." The case was covered in the documentary series Tiger King, which became a major hit for Netflix at the start of COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020 and was followed up by a second season in November 2021. 

Maldonado-Passage's resentencing comes after he announced in November 2021 he had been diagnosed with "aggressive" prostate cancer. He said at the time he was fighting to be released from prison "so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones," and he told the judge who was determining his new sentence, "Please don't make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free."