Convicted Inmate Claims Life Sentence Ended After 'Dying' And Coming Back To Life

A convict serving a life sentence made an unusual argument against being returned to prison after he was resuscitated following a 'death' incident.

Benjamin Schreiber had been incarcerated at an Iowa detention facility in the mid-1990s for committing first-degree murder.

He brutally murdered a man by bludgeoning him with the handle of a pickaxe, following a conspiracy with the victim's girlfriend. The lifeless body was abandoned outside a trailer.

As reported by CNN, Schreiber encountered health complications in 2015, including kidney stones and septic poisoning. Eventually, his condition deteriorated to the point where he lost consciousness and required hospitalization.

After being transferred to a hospital, Schreiber's heart momentarily ceased beating, and medical professionals successfully resuscitated him on five separate occasions.

Once his condition stabilized, Schreiber received treatment and was subsequently returned to prison.

However, he attempted to make the argument that his "life sentence" had been fulfilled. He also claimed that he was resuscitated against his will, as he had previously signed a "do not resuscitate" order, as reported by the Des Moines Register.

Schreiber's brother even informed medical staff that "If he is in pain, you may give him something to ease the pain, but otherwise you are to let him pass."

Nevertheless, the courts did not find Schreiber's argument convincing and dismissed it as lacking merit. Undeterred, he appealed the case to the Iowa Court of Appeals, contending that he was "imprisoned illegally and should be immediately released".

However, the Court of Appeals also ruled against him after three judges deliberated on the matter.

In delivering their ruling, Justice Amanda Potterfield expressed:

"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," she concluded.

According to CNN's report, the court referred to Iowa state law, which mandates that individuals convicted of a class A felony must serve life in prison until their natural life concludes, regardless of the length of that period or any events preceding the defendant's demise.

Schreiber passed away last month at Unity Point Medical Center in Fort Dodge from natural causes.