An appeals court is cutting 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic some slack, which is probably a relief to him after he never got that presidential pardon his team was hoping for earlier this year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver ruled Wednesday that Mr. Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) was wrongly sentenced to 22 years in prison when he probably should have received about 17.5.

That's not much time shaved off a sentence, but hey, any time you're not behind bars is a blessing.

The court sided with Joe's argument that his two murder-for-hire convictions should have been grouped together as one at sentencing "because they involved the same victim and two or more acts or transactions that were connected by a common criminal objective: murdering [Carole] Baskin."

Baskin is a wildlife advocate and sanctuary operator who was at odds with Joe over his private ownership of big cats and his hybridization efforts. She called for boycotts against Joe's shows featuring his animals, and eventually sued him for copyright and trademark infringement, winning a million dollars in the case.

That's when things got really ugly and Joe tried twice (that we know of) to have her killed.

He was sentenced to serve time at Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in January of 2020, and shortly afterward the entire saga became a worldwide phenomenon when it was featured in a wildly popular Netflix true crime show.

Netflix's '"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' became the most-watched streaming show during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and led many to believe that Joe should be pardoned and Carole Baskin ain't no saint.

The drama continues, and who knows when Joe will actually breathe the free air again.

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