Prisoner Dies and Came Back to Life. Life Sentence Done?

A convicted murderer serving a life sentence in an Iowa prison attempted to argue that his sentence had expired after he momentarily died and was resuscitated. Benjamin Schreiber, found guilty of first-degree murder, claimed that his life sentence was fulfilled when he was revived after suffering from septic poisoning.

Despite his unusual argument, the court ruled that Schreiber must remain in prison. Schreiber passed away in April 2023 due to natural causes.

In 2015, Schreiber was transferred from the Iowa State Penitentiary to a nearby hospital after developing kidney stones and experiencing septic poisoning.

During his hospitalization, his heart briefly stopped on five occasions, but medical professionals successfully resuscitated him using epinephrine and adrenaline.

Taking advantage of this extraordinary event, Schreiber contended that he had technically died and therefore fulfilled his life sentence. He argued that he should be set free, claiming that his revival was against his will as he had previously signed a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order. He cited his brother’s instructions to medical staff to let him pass if he was in pain.

The lower court and the Iowa Court of Appeals both rejected Schreiber’s argument. A three-judge panel, led by Justice Amanda Potterfield, dismissed his claim, stating that the provision in Iowa state law imposing life sentences for the most serious felonies was not intended to release defendants who were revived by medical procedures during their incarceration.

Justice Potterfield emphasized that Schreiber must either still be alive, requiring him to remain in prison, or be actually dead, making the appeal moot. Citing the state law, which mandates life imprisonment for class A felony offenders, the court ruled that Schreiber must serve the remainder of his natural life behind bars.

In April 2023, Benjamin Schreiber passed away due to natural causes at Unity Point Medical Center in Fort Dodge. His demise occurred after the legal battle regarding his claim had concluded, with the court ruling that he should remain incarcerated.

Source: The Mirror

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