Killer claims his life sentence is served after he briefly died

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 10, 2019

Benjamin Schreiber, 66, was sentenced to life without parole in Iowa for bludgeoning a man to death in 1996.

Adding a nail to Schreiber's legal coffin, the court said the sentence he is serving in the Iowa State Penitentiary will not end until a medical examiner declares him dead. He slipped into unconsciousness and was rushed to the hospital, where, despite a "do not resuscitate" order he'd signed, he was resuscitated five times with "adrenaline/epinephrine via an IV".

"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", the court wrote. Surgery was performed, and he was treated with antibiotics, according to court documents. Schreiber has since argued that he's served his life sentence as a result.

Benjamin Schreiber is seen in a photo released by the Iowa Department of Corrections.

An Iowa inmate sentenced to life without parole has unsuccessfully argued in court that he should be freed because he "momentarily died" and was resuscitated when he was in the hospital four years ago.

However, a lower court didn't buy it.

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A judge denied the motion, and an appeals court on Wednesday agreed that Schreiber's argument was not persuasive.

Schreiber didn't give up, and his case made its way to the Iowa Court of Appeals.

She notes that the appellant cited no case law to support his position and that state law requires those convicted of a class A felony to "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".

But judges said Schreiber's bid - while original - was "unpersuasive".

On Oct. 13, 1997, Schreiber was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of John Dale Terry a year earlier.

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