In Summary
  • After the convicted murderer collapsed in his prison cell in 2015, doctors restarted his heart five times.
  • Recovering back at the Iowa State Penitentiary in the US, the convict filed a novel legal appeal.
  • Because he died before he was resuscitated, he had technically fulfilled his life sentence, he claimed.


An inmate serving life for murder in the US state of Iowa offered a novel legal appeal, saying he should be released because he "died" four years ago.

The Iowa Court of Appeals was unmoved, however, by Benjamin Schreiber's bid for freedom ruling that the argument -- however original -- was "unpersuasive."

Schreiber, who was handed a whole life term without the possibility of parole after bludgeoning a man to death in the 1990s, became gravely ill in March 2015 when large kidney stones led to septic poisoning.

After he was rushed unconscious to a hospital, doctors had to revive the "dead" man five times. They then operated to repair damage done by the kidney stones.

Schreiber, 66, was eventually returned to prison.

In a court filing in April 2018, Schreiber claimed that because he had momentarily died, his life sentence had technically been completed.

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