If you thought Season 1 of Tiger King was wild, Tiger King 2 may exceed your expectations. The second series of the Netflix documentary explores what happened to the cast after the first episodes aired in March 2020, as well as delving into the backstories of everybody involved. There is also a major focus on the unsolved disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband Don Lewis.
In Tiger King 2, Joe Exotic remains incarcerated after being convicted of attempted murder-for-hire and animal cruelty. He does appear in the documentary via recorded phone calls from prison, however. Newsweek has everything you need to know about his sentence.
Where Is Joe Exotic Now? Tiger King’s Prison Sentence Explained
In January 2020, Joe Exotic (who was born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel) was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted over a murder-for-hire plot.
Exotic was found guilty of attempting to arrange for two men to kill his rival, Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue. However, one of the two men was an undercover FBI agent.
Exotic also faced 17 federal charges of animal abuse and was found guilty of all of them—bringing an end to his career as a zoo owner, cat breeder and aspiring musician/politician.
Exotic has been protesting his innocence since his incarceration in 2020 and has been campaigning for his release with the help of the “Free Joe Exotic” movement.
After Tiger King dropped on Netflix in March 2020, the campaign gathered so much momentum that Texas millionaire Eric Love recruited a team of lawyers—dubbed Team Tiger—to fight Exotic’s case.
Team Tiger even launched a campaign for Exotic to receive a pardon from former President Donald Trump, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
As audiences will see in Tiger King 2, Exotic has been working with attorney John Michael Phillips who filed a motion for a new trial in summer 2021.
On July 15, a U.S. appeals court ruled that Exotic’s 22-year-sentence was too harsh and ordered him to be re-sentenced.
According to the ruling, Exotic should have received a sentence of between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years.
Today Exotic is awaiting his re-sentencing at Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
As well as campaigning for his freedom, Exotic has also written a tell-all memoir, which is set for release in late November.
On November 4, Exotic announced via his Twitter account that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
In a handwritten letter, Exotic shared that he had “aggressive cancer” in his prostate—and protested his innocence once again.
He wrote: “What I need is the world to be my voice to be released. They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the U.S Attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones.”
Phillips, Exotic’s attorney, told USA Today: “Joe informed me that his fears were true. He had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. As noted in Joe’s recent statements, he has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues.
“The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. It was high months ago. He finally obtained biopsies. They revealed cancer. Medical care is different in a prison environment and fewer options are available.”
Tiger King co-director Rebecca Chaiklin has said Exotic’s prison sentence is a big narrative thread in the show’s new season.
She said: “I’m not sure that Joe’s case was investigated properly and unfortunately he did not have a strong defense attorney. I believe there has a potentially been a miscarriage of justice on the murder-for-hire charges. So, that is something I have been keen on exploring.”
Tiger King 2 is streaming on Netflix now.