Iowa court appeals prison Benjamin Schreiber life sentence kidney stones septic infection hospital doctors Judge Amanda Potterfield five times resuscitated
Photo credit: Iowa Supreme Court by Ctjf83 | CC BY-SA 3.0

Iowa Man Claims His Life Sentence Was Served After He Died and Was Resuscitated

A prisoner serving a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary was taken to a local hospital in 2015 where he had to be resuscitated five times after his heart stopped. Benjamin Schreiber was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder in 1997.

Schreiber had been rushed to the hospital after collapsing in his cell as a result of enlarged kidney stones which caused him to be unable to urinate externally on March 30, according to court documents.

The entire case can be read here.

After being admitted to the hospital, Schreiber had to be resuscitated five times. Court documents said that Schreiber had a “do not resuscitate” order on file at the hospital where he was revived. He alleged that the order was ignored by medical professionals. Doctors at the hospital administered adrenaline and epinephrine intravenously to save Schreiber’s life. Later, he underwent surgery to repair internal damage caused by the oversized kidney stones.

He filed a post-conviction relief against the State of Iowa for his freedom in April 2018 under the pretext that because he technically died five times, he served his life sentence and spent four years too long in prison. He lost the case in district court. On Thursday, the Iowa State Court of Appeals shut Schreiber down as well.

Though it makes for a compelling case, there is a legal definition for death, according to Iowa State Statute 708.2. A person is considered dead if it is announced by a physician, a licensed physician’s assistant, a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse. That did not happen in his situation.

Judge Amanda Potterfield, additionally, maintained in the court of appeals of opinion that because Schreiber was still alive that he should remain in prison. She cited State vs. Louisell as the basis for her ruling.

Under Iowa State Statute 902.1, the punishment for a Class A felony is a life sentence. First-degree murder falls under that category. However, nowhere in the statute does it list anything concerning a prisoner “temporarily dying.”

Latest News

NBCUniversal and Telemundo Launches ‘Come With Us’ — Its First-Ever Bilingual Hispanic Heritage Month Campaign

Originally published at Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   NBCUniversal and Telemundo, the leading media company serving Hispanics in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, join forces to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month with the launch of a robust company-wide…

More Than 4,000 KeyBank Team Members Volunteered for the Company’s 2021 ‘Neighbors Make the Difference Day’

Originally published on LinkedIn. KeyBank ranked No. 23 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Last week, more than 4,000 KeyBank teammates volunteered across KeyBank’s footprint in honor of the company’s annual Neighbors Make the Difference Day. From house repairs to landscaping, KeyBank teammates helped…

TIAA Appoints Dave Dowrich as Chief Financial Officer

Originally published at TIAA ranked No. 9 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   On Sept. 1, TIAA, a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions, appointed Dave Dowrich as Chief Financial Officer. Dowrich…