Benjamin Schreiber was found guilty of first-degree murder in 1997 and sentenced to life in prison without parole but this decade, he went through some circumstances where he feels that his life sentence should be voided now.
According to USA TODAY, Schreiber was sent from the Iowa State Penitentiary in March of 2015 to a hospital where his heart restarted five times. He died briefly due to this but was brought back fully alive thanks to resuscitation fluids through an IV. Schreiber thinks that his life sentence was overstayed by four years due to him briefly dying and that his life sentence shouldn’t be required anymore.
This all happened after he signed a “do not resuscitate” agreement years earlier. His brother in Texas even told the hospital that “if he is in pain, you may give him something to ease the pain, but otherwise you are to let him pass.”
In April of 2018, Schreiber filed for post-conviction relief where he stated that he “momentarily died at the hospital, fulfilled his life sentence and should be freed immediately.” His other argument was that he was sentenced to life without parole but not to “life plus one day.”
A district court has since denied this request by Schreiber by saying that it was “unpersuasive and without merit.” The Iowa Court of Appeals said on November 6 of this month that Schreiber’s sentence isn’t completed until a medical examiner declares he is deceased.
“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 in a court of appeals opinion.