Iowa Man on Life Sentence Dies, Is Resuscitated but Not Freed

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An Iowa inmate by the name of Benjamin Schreiber  was convicted of 1st degree murder in 1997 for which he received a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary. Benjamin died but a judge ruled that he did not serve his “life sentence” despite being challenged in the court system.

Schreiber was admitted to the hospital in 2015 because he had developed septic poisoning caused by kidney stones. He was fully unconscious by the time he got to the hospital. Despite having a do not resuscitate agreement with his family, his heart was restarted 5 times. According to a report, his brother told the doctors “If he is in pain, you may give him something to ease the pain, but otherwise you are to let him pass”.

Following a series of procedures, Schreiber was alive again and ready to file some appeals. The case went through the Iowa Court of appeals but the court was having none of it. Judge Amanda Potterfield handled the case and issued the following opinion:

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

Schreiber may have the opportunity to take the case further. It seems to be a unique challenge to life sentencing that could have ramifications on other inmates as well.


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