Convicted Murder Claims He Served His Life Sentence After Briefly Dying

Clay Curtis
November 10, 2019

Schreiber, who was handed a whole life term without the possibility of parole after bludgeoning a man to death in the 1990s, became gravely ill in March 2015 when large kidney stones led to septic poisoning.

Adding a nail to Schreiber's legal coffin, the court said the sentence he is serving in the Iowa State Penitentiary will not end until a medical examiner declares him dead. 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.
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. Then again, Schreiber argued that he was sentenced to existence in jail, "but not to existence additionally one particular working day", the newspaper described.

The man above is 66-year-old Benjamin Schreiber.

Three years later, Schreiber sought to be freed when he argued in court that he fulfilled his life sentence after momentarily dying. He claimed that he had fulfilled the sentence after his short-term death.

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His argument said his imprisonment was illegal because he believed his sentence ended when he temporarily died.

On Wednesday, the appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling.

A district court docket disagreed along with his argument, and Schreiber took the state of affairs to the Iowa Courtroom of Appeals. Schreiber and Terry's girlfriend had apparently planned the man's killing.

This week, however, an Iowa appeals court denied Schreiber's appeal. The courts have not addressed whether he was wrongfully resuscitated.

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