A prisoner in Iowa has been appealing his prison sentence because he believes he’s served his time.
In 2015, the prisoner, Benjamin Schreiber briefly died and was revived at the hospital, the New York Times reports. Since then, he’s argued that he carried out his obligation to the state because he was imprisoned until his death. The 66-year-old inmate has been in jail since the incident.
This week, he asked a three-judge panel to free him from jail; however, the judges turned down his plea, ruling that a lower court was correct when they dismissed his petition. “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 for the court.
Over the last few years, he’s filed a few failed appeals. In 2018, he argued in court that he was resuscitated against his wishes, and due to what happened, his “sentence has expired.” He was sentenced to life without parole after he was charged with murder for killing a man with the handle of an ax in 1996.
While being held at Iowa State Penitentiary in 2015, Schreiber was hospitalized after enduring seizures and high-grade fever. Doctors figured out the symptoms were due to large kidney stones, which had led to septic poisoning.
His brother was called after the prisoner lost consciousness at the hospital, and staff were told that they should “let him pass.” Schreiber said the hospital ignored his brother and his donot r esuscitate order, which said that the prisoner shouldn’t be revived. The courts haven’t addressed whether or not he was wrongfully resuscitated.
Potterfield wrote in her ruling that because “life” isn’t decided by state code, then judges have offered the term “its plain meaning,” which they established that Schreiber must spend the rest of his natural life in prison, even after the incident.
“We do not find his argument persuasive,” Judge Potterfield wrote. She added that it’s unlikely that criminals would be set “free whenever medical procedures during their incarceration lead to their resuscitation by medical professionals.”