Jail prison cell generic

(CNN) -- An Iowa inmate serving a life sentence says he should be a free man after he became ill, momentarily died, and had to be revived at the hospital. But the courts are having none of it.

Benjamin Schreiber was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1997 after being convicted of first-degree murder. In March 2015, he developed large kidney stones that led to septic poisoning, according to court documents.

He eventually fell unconscious in his cell and was taken to a local hospital, where he was resuscitated five separate times, the documents say.

According to the Iowa Court of Appeals, Schreiber "claims he momentarily died at the hospital, thereby fulfilling his 'life' sentence ... Because his sentence has been fulfilled, he argues, he is imprisoned illegally and should be immediately released."

A district court previously denied Schreiber's motion. And on Wednesday, the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision.

In its opinion, the appeals court said a "plain reading" of Iowa law says defendants guilty of a class A felony "must spend the rest of their natural life in prison, regardless of how long that period of time ends up being or any events occurring before the defendant's life ends."

"Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison," Judge Amanda Potterfield wrote, "or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot."

An attorney for Schreiber did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday morning. It's unclear whether Schreiber plans to take the case to a higher court.

Recommended for you

(3) comments

DesertDonna52

People are under the misimpression that when a heart stops, the person dies. Not true. The brain is the center of life. If it was the heart, then doctors would be murderers when they temporarily stop a patient's heart. It's when the brain dies that a patient is considered brain dead and there is no hope, no revival.

just sayin'

Why did they revive him? They should have left him dead, therefor his sentence would have been fulfilled, and the tax paying citizens financial burden lifted.

GoFundRyan.com

Government enjoys watching people suffer.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.