(Reuters) – What do Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, “Tiger King” Joe Exotic, and the dark web buccaneer known as Dread Pirate Roberts all have in common?
Stuck behind bars, they all turned to sentencing reformer Brandon Sample.
Sample, a Rutland, Vermont-based attorney, argued before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January in an effort to get Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s murder-for-hire conviction and sentence tossed.
Known as “Joe Exotic,” Maldonado-Passage garnered fame last year when Netflix featured his Oklahoma private zoo and rivalry with Florida big cat rescue activist Carole Baskin in the series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
Sample was only partially successful. On Wednesday, the 10th Circuit upheld Maldonado-Passage’s conviction on two counts of hiring hitmen to kill Baskin, though it vacated his 22-year sentence and remanded his case for new sentencing. The appellate court held the trial judge...