United States inmate seeks release from jail after he 'died'

An Iowa appeals court has rejected Benjamin Schreiber's claim

Schreiber had argued in court that a brief brush with death should be his ticket to a new life outside of prison, in a weird case that has tested the definition of a "life sentence".

In 2015, Schreiber developed septic poisoning as a result of kidney stones. Schreiber was resuscitated five times while being transported to the hospital.

Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot.

His lawyer argued that Schreiber had been sentenced to life without parole "but not to life plus one day".

Schreiber had signed a "do not resuscitate" order years earlier, but hospital staff administered fluids through an IV after his brother in Texas said Schreiber should be given something to ease his pain.

On Wednesday, the appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling.

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An inmate serving life for murder in the U.S. state of Iowa offered a novel legal appeal, saying he should be released because he "died" four years ago. He claimed that he had fulfilled the sentence after his short-term death.

After the state's motion to dismiss the case was granted in district court, Schreiber appealed.

The prisoner, Benjamin Schreiber, made that argument to an appeals court in Iowa, saying that when he briefly died in 2015, before being revived at a hospital, he completed his obligation to the state.

"We do not believe the legislature intended this provision, which defines the sentences for the most serious class of felonies under Iowa law and imposes its 'harshest penalty, '.to set criminal defendants free whenever medical procedures during their incarceration lead to their resuscitation by medical professionals", the opinion states. It's unclear whether Schreiber plans to take the case to a higher court.

Schreiber's attorney has not commented on what his client wants to do next.

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