A prison inmate is arguing that he served his life sentence prison term after he suffered a medical emergency and was pronounced legally dead for a few minutes. In addition, the inmate claimed he was revived against his wishes. He sent his claim to the appeals court, demanding to be set free.
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Benjamin Schreiber is serving life in prison after he bludgeoning a man to death in 1996. The 66-year-old Iowa man was considered dead for a brief period of time in 2015 after Schreiber was taken to a local hospital for seizures and a high fever.
Doctors determined the illness was due in part to a large kidney stone that made him turn septic. He was classified as dead for a few moments until he was revived by hospital staff. Schreiber also argued that he was revived against his will as he had a do-not-resuscitate order on file, The New York Times reported.
Four years have passed since Schreiber was revived, but the inmate is still adamant that his “sentence has expired.”
A three-judge panel of Iowa’s appeal court ruled in favor of the state citing: “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.”
Judge Amanda Potterfield, one of the three judges presiding over the matter, added: “We do not find his argument persuasive.” Judge Potterfield explained that the law did not intend “to set criminal defendants free whenever medical procedures during their incarceration lead to their resuscitation by medical professionals.”
Ironically, this isn’t the first time someone tried to get released based on a technicality. According to the BBC, Jerry Rosenberg killed two police officers in 1962 and petitioned for his release after he died on the operating table during surgery.
He was ruled aginst as well.