Sunday, August 14, 2011
A black thief who was released from a New York jail so she could get a heart transplant is back behind bars - possibly for good - after she was caught shoplifting again
Forty-seven-year-old African-American Diane McCloud was freed by a judge in January 2011 after a doctor said that she had only six months to live if she didn't get a transplant. But a lawyer for the dying Long Island woman said that the new arrest has probably cost her any chance of getting a new heart. After her release, McCloud, who has end-stage heart disease, got into trouble with the court for continuing to smoke cigarettes. She was then arrested and jailed for stealing about $500 in toiletry items from a drug store in July 2011. McCloud sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to petit larceny charges before Nassau District Court Judge Francis Ricigliano. Just eight months earlier, Judge Ricigliano had halted a previous 15-month sentence for a petit larceny charge. Now she has to finish serving her original sentence, plus additional time in the new theft case - if she lives. Her lawyer, Leonard Isaacs, said that as an inmate, she no longer qualifies for the Medicaid that would have covered a transplant.