Fallen unconscious after sepsis and then resuscitated in hospital, an inmate claimed that he had served his life sentence and demanded his release. The Court of Appeal of Iowa (United States) did not hear it the same way.
An inmate tried everything for the whole thing. Benjamin Schreiber was sentenced in Iowa for premeditated willful homicide to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole in 1997.
Twenty years later, in 2015, the man developed blood clots that caused him sepsis. Gravely ill, the prisoner fell unconscious and his heart stopped. He was rushed to hospital where doctors tried to resuscitate him five times. And they finally succeeded.
"Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or dead, in which case this appeal is without purpose"
The miracle worker then decided in 2018 to appeal the decision of the court to keep him behind bars, considering that he had died and that his life sentence was no longer valid. A petition that was investigated this Wednesday by the Iowa Court of Appeal recounts the Washington Post.
"Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or dead, in which case this appeal is without purpose", wrote Judge Amanda Potterfield in her decision. The 66-year-old detainee's request was rejected. "We do not believe that the legislator intended this provision (…) to release criminal defendants whenever medical procedures during their incarceration lead to their resuscitation by health professionals", can we also read in the decision.
Benjamin Schreiber will therefore remain in prison until his (real) death. The detainee, however, has the possibility of appealing to a higher court.