A convicted murderer who had to be resuscitated five times during a medical emergency four years ago tried to get his prison sentence cut short by claiming he actually fulfilled his life sentence when he ‘died’ for those fure moments.
His argument was dismissed.
Benjamin Schreiber’s motion argued that he is imprisoned illegally because his life ended at the hospital on March 30, 2015. The 66-year-old man, who was found guilty of first-degree murder more than two decades ago, was taken to the hospital that day after falling unconscious in his prison cell, court records show.
Schreiber was diagnosed with two large kidney stones that caused him to urinate internally and led to a septic poisoning, according to those documents. He was successfully resuscitated five times with adrenaline and epinephrine before the stones were removed.
Judge Amanda Potterfield, of the Iowa Court of Appeals, wrote in an opinion released Wednesday that convicted murderers must spend the rest of “their natural life” in prison, regardless of how long that period ends up.
“Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot,” she wrote.
An Iowa jury convicted him in 1997 for bludgeoning a 39-year-old man to death with a wooden handle of a pickax, according to The Washington Post.
His first motion to be released was filed with a district court last year, when he argued that he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, “but not to Life plus one day.” That court quickly dismissed his claims.
“The petitioner’s filing of these proceedings in itself confirms the petitioner’s current status as living,” the court wrote at the time.
The convict also accused doctors of reviving him against his wishes. Schreiber said his due process rights were violated because the hospital ignored a “do-not-resuscitate” order he had previously signed.
The appeals court declined to consider that claim.
We’re honestly not mad at the attempt. At all.