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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

Benjamin Schreiber said he was revived against his will and believed justice had been served.

A prisoner once tried to argue that his life sentence in prison had technically expired after his heart stopped.

Benjamin Schreiber was ordered to spend the rest of his days inside an Iowa detention facility in the mid-1990s.

He was convicted of first-degree murder for clubbing a man to death with the handle of a pickaxe.

During the trial, the court heard how Schreiber conspired with the victim's girlfriend to murder him and left the body outside a trailer.

In 2015, Schreiber developed kidney stones and he started suffering septic poisoning, according to CNN.

Iowa Department of Corrections

He lost consciousness and was moved from Iowa State Penitentiary to a nearby hospital.

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

The Guardian reports doctors used epinephrine and adrenaline to revive the man.

Once he stabilised, they treated his sepsis and he was sent back to jail.

After that incident, the convicted murderer tried to argue in court that he should be allowed to leave prison after successfully fulfilling his 'life sentence'.

Not only that, but Schreiber says he was revived against his will as he had signed a 'Do Not Resuscitate' order years earlier, according to The Des Moines Register.

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, the courts felt differently about what happened at the hospital.

A lower court said the murderer's argument was 'unpersuasive and without merit'.

Keith Turrill / Alamy Stock Photo

While that might have been enough to make you go back to your prison cell, Schreiber decided to take it a step further and go to the Iowa Court of Appeals.

But, it seems they weren't impressed either at the argument.

A three-judge panel weighed up the case and Justice Amanda Potterfield wrote 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.”

Justice Potterfield added: “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."

According to CNN, the appeals court referred to Iowa state law that said anyone who is guilty a class A felony 'must spend the rest of their natural life in prison, regardless of how long that period of time ends up being or any events occurring before the defendant’s life ends'.

Schreiber died last month 'due to natural causes' at Unity Point Medical Center in Fort Dodge.

Featured Image Credit: Iowa Department of Corrections. robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Crime