A man convicted of murder and serving a life sentence says he should be let go free after being revived in a medical emergency because, he argues, he has fulfilled the punishment.
Benjamin Schreiber was rushed to a hospital from the Iowa State Penitentiary and his heart was restarted five times in 2015.
He argued before a court that this means he technically died, fulfilled his life sentence, and should be let free.
The court disagreed.
Schreiber was convicted of first-degree murder and has been in prison since 1996 serving the sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
He suffered from septic poisoning in March 2015 as a result of large kidney stones.
Despite having signed a “do not resuscitate” order previously, Schreiber was revived by doctors who also operated to alleviate the damage from the stones.
He argued that he was not sentenced to “life plus one day,” but a district court denied his claim and ruled that his argument was “unpersuasive and without merit.”
“Schreiber is either still alive, in which case he must remain in prison,” ruled Judge Amanda Potterfield, “or he is actually dead, in which case this appeal is moot.”
Schreiber also argued that his due process rights were violated when doctors ignored his “do not resuscitate” order, but the court said they could not rule on that argument.