MINEOLA - A Nassau judge today showed mercy in letting a terminally ill prisoner spend her final days in hospice care instead of in the county jail. Judge France Ricigliano said he would release Diane McCloud from serving the rest of her two-year shoplifting sentence if Franklin General Hospital issued a letter saying it had a bed and a treatment plan for her. This afternoon, the court received that letter.

Last year, McCloud was freed from a 15-month sentence so she could receive a heart transplant. McCould had trouble quitting smoking, which was a precondition to the transplant, and she was arrested again for shoplifting three more times at various drugstores. Today, Dr. Sanjay Doddemani recommended that McCloud at least be moved to hospice to live out her final days in comfort and dignity.

Heart patient sentenced to 27 months for shopliftingWoman to get more jail time after release for heart transplantWoman freed to get heart transplant back in court