Murderer who briefly died must still serve his life sentence, court rules

Benjamin Schreiber was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole

He slipped into unconsciousness and was rushed to the hospital, where, despite a "do not resuscitate" order he'd signed, he was resuscitated five times with "adrenaline/epinephrine via an IV".

Benjamin Edward Schreiber, 66, 'is either still alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is actually dead, in which case this appeal is moot, ' a judge in Iowa ruled on Wednesday.

Schreiber's brother told the hospital staff that "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 records obtained by The Des Moines Register. And Potterfield doubts that Schreiber's interpretation of the law could possibly be what lawmakers meant when they defined a life sentence.

A man who was sentenced to life in prison at the Iowa State Penitentiary, appealed his conviction after he was revived in a medical emergency.


He was convicted in the bludgeoning death that year of a 39-year-old man in a plot carried out with the man's girlfriend.

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. One prisoner claims he has done it by serving time until the moment of his death - plus another four years since - and said it is well past time to set him free. He said he had "momentarily died", according to the judges' opinion, and therefore should be immediately released.

Should a life sentence end when your heart stops? It's unclear whether Schreiber plans to take the case to a higher court.

However the Iowa Court of Appeals was unmoved by Benjamin Schreiber's bid for freedom ruling that the argument - however original - was "unpersuasive". The courts have not addressed whether he was wrongfully resuscitated.

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