Iowa Appeals Court rules against life inmate who says he died already

Benjamin Schreiber a convicted murderer who had to be resuscitated five times during a medical emergency in 2015 tried to get out of prison by claiming his life sentence was fulfilled when he momentarily “died

Benjamin Schreiber, 66, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1997 and was sentenced to life in prison.

In late March of 2015, Schreiber had kidney stones that got so big that, according to court records, they "caused him to urinate internally". Even though he had a do-not-resuscitate order on file at the hospital, medical staff resuscitated him five times and then operated to fix his organs damaged by the kidney stones.

"Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot", Potterfield added. His brother told hospital staff, "If he is in pain, you may give him something to ease the pain, but otherwise you are to let him pass", according to court documents. Schreiber has since argued that he's served his life sentence as a result.

According to the Iowa Court of Appeals, Schreiber "claims he momentarily died at the hospital, thereby fulfilling his "life" sentence ..."

An inmate serving life for murder in the USA state of Iowa offered a novel legal appeal, saying he should be released because he "died" four years ago. "Because his sentence has been fulfilled, he argues, he is imprisoned illegally and should be immediately released".


This week, however, an Iowa appeals court denied Schreiber's appeal.

A district judge found little merit in Schreiber's argument, saying Schreiber's filing confirmed that he was still among the living.

Schreiber's lawyer then took the case to the appeals court, which ruled Wednesday that the convict couldn't have it both ways.

Potterfield said that Schreiber's argument was not persuasive in her ruling against him.

He said his sentence ended when his heart stopped during a medical emergency four years ago, even though he was revived. He had to be resuscitated by doctors in hospital, but fully recovered and was returned to prison.

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