Terminally ill shoplifter released from jail to receive end-stage care

Story highlights

  • Diane McCloud, 48, will spend her final days in hospice
  • She had been arrested 69 times for shoplifting
  • She was released from jail last year to undergo a heart transplant, but stole again
A terminally ill convicted shoplifter was released from jail this week for a second time -- this time to live out her last days in hospice, according to a Nassau County Court spokesman.
Diane McCloud of Long Island had originally been released from Nassau County Correctional Facility in January 2011 for a life-saving heart transplant but was ordered back to jail after she was caught stealing again in July, rendering her ineligible for the treatment.
Due to McCloud's now-worsened condition, Nassau County District Court Judge Francis Ricigliano vacated her two-year sentence and ordered that McCloud be moved to a hospice center to receive palliative care, according to court spokesman Daniel Bagnola.
The 48-year-old repeat offender was released on Tuesday and was admitted to an area hospice at the request of her doctor, according to the Nassau County Corrections Facility records office.
"Neither the hospital nor the jail's infirmary is the right place for Ms. McCloud to spend her final days," Dr. Sanjay Doddamani said in court.
McCloud was serving a 15-month sentence for petit larceny when Ricigliano initially freed her last year so she could seek treatment and undergo a heart transplant.
McCloud was sent back to Nassau County Correctional Facility six months after her release for stealing Oil of Olay skin cream, Crest teeth-whitening strips and diet pills from a Long Island CVS drug store, according to Chris Munzina, a spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney's office. He said it was her 69th arrest.
After pleading guilty to the shoplifting charge in August, McCloud was ordered back to jail to finish the remainder of her 15 months, along with an additional six months for the most recent theft, according to defense attorney Leonard Isaacs.
Isaacs said McCloud's final arrest in July and incarceration made her ineligible for the Mount Sinai heart transplant program where she was previously seeking treatment.
McCloud's end-stage congestive heart failure is expected to allow for only a few days or weeks of life, according to Doddamani.