The release from a Scottish prison in August this year of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, caused outrage and condemnation across the world, with the President of the USA, Barack Obama, voicing his disappointment directly to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, having served 8 years of a 27-year sentence for blowing up PanAm Flight 103 and killing 270 people in 1988. In another recent high profile case, the notorious ‘great train robber’, Ronnie Biggs, was also granted compassionate release from a British prison in August. Biggs, now 80 years old, has had several strokes, and at the time of his release was suffering from pneumonia and not expected to survive.
Turner, M., Barbarachild, Z., Kidd, H., & Payne, S. (2009). How notorious do dying prisoners need to be to receive high quality end-of-life care? International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 15(10), 472-473. https://doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2009.15.10.44884