Appeals court denies inmate’s claim that life sentence should end because he was resuscitated five times

Local News

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a man serving a life sentence in prison for murder still must complete his time behind bars despite falling unconscious and being resuscitated.

Benjamin Schreiber was convicted of first-degree murder in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Schreiber filed for post-conviction relief, stating that in March 2015, he was hospitalized after large kidney stones caused him to urinate internally, “which in turn led to him developing septic poisoning.”

“According to Schreiber’s pleadings, the septic poisoning caused him to fall unconscious in his prison cell,” the ruling reads. “He was transported to a local hospital where he was resuscitated five times by receiving ‘adrenaline/epinephrine via an IV’.”

Schreiber alleged in his 2018 post-conviction relief filing that because he momentarily died, his sentence had been fulfilled.

The Iowa Court of Appeals disagreed.

“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 wrote.

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