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Prisoner who 'died' and was brought back to life argued his life sentence had technically finished

Prisoner who 'died' and was brought back to life argued his life sentence had technically finished

He claimed he'd given prison his full life.

A prisoner who died in prison and was brought back to life once tried to argue that he had technically finished his sentence.

Benjamin Schreiber sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1996 after being found guilty of first-degree murder.

Schreiber had clubbed a man to death with the handle of a pickaxe, and the US court heard how he conspired with the victim's girlfriend to murder him and leave his body outside a trailer.

After almost 20 years behind bars, Schreiber developed kidney stones and he started suffering septic poisoning, according to CNN.

In 2015 he lost consciousness and was moved from Iowa State Penitentiary to a nearby hospital.

Benjamin Schreiber.
Iowa Department Of Corrections

At the medical facility, Schreiber was resuscitated five times as his heart had briefly stopped.

Doctors used epinephrine and adrenaline to revive the man, which stabilised his condition and allowed them to treat his sepsis.

Once recovered he was sent back to prison, but he had an abnormal request for his life sentence as he claimed he'd technically fulfilled it.

The convicted murderer argued that he had been revived against his will, with the Des Moines Register reporting that he'd signed a 'Do Not Resuscitate' order years before.

Schreiber's brother was brought in and told medical staff 'if he is in pain, you may give him something to ease the pain, but otherwise you are to let him pass'.

However, nobody was really buying the convicted murderer's claim that he'd technically served a life sentence because he'd died and been brought back against his will.

The courts felt differently about his claim to have finished a life sentence, describing his argument as 'unpersuasive and without merit'.

Nobody listened to his ridiculous idea and he stayed in prison until he died.
Iowa Department of Corrections

Not willing to leave it at that, Schreiber decided to take it a step further and go to the Iowa Court of Appeals, who were equally unimpressed by his argument.

A panel of three judges gave a verdict on his case, with Justice Amanda Potterfield writing in her decision: "We do not believe the legislature intended this provision, which defines the sentences for the most serious class of felonies under Iowa law and imposes its ‘harshest penalty’... to set criminal defendants free whenever medical procedures during their incarceration lead to their resuscitation by medical professionals."

"Schreiber is either still alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is actually dead, in which case this appeal is moot."

Schreiber died last year at Unity Point Medical Center in Fort Dodge ‘due to natural causes’.

Featured Image Credit: Iowa Department Of Corrections/Getty Stock Image

Topics: Crime, US News