Benjamin Schreiber is very much alive. But that hasn't stopped him from arguing that he died four years ago.
After the convicted murderer collapsed in his prison cell in 2015, doctors restarted his heart five times. Recovering back at the Iowa State Penitentiary, Schreiber filed a novel legal appeal. Because he died before he was resuscitated, he had technically fulfilled his life sentence, he claimed.
Judges, however, aren't buying it. Dying for a brief amount of time doesn't amount to a get-out-of-jail-free card, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, saying that the 66-year-old will remain in prison until a medical examiner determines that he is dead for good.
"Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot," Judge Amanda Potterfield wrote.
Schreiber has been behind bars since 1996, when he was charged in the death of John Dale Terry, a 39-year-old whose bludgeoned body was found near an abandoned trailer in rural Agency, Iowa.
Schreiber从1996年开始服刑，在John Dale Terry的死亡案件中受到指控，那个39岁死者惨不忍睹的尸体在爱荷华州Agency乡村地区一个废弃拖车附近被发现。
Prosecutors contended that Schreiber, then 43, had plotted with Terry's girlfriend before clubbing the man to death with the wooden handle of a pickax. A jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, and in 1997 he was sentenced to life without parole.
Nearly two decades later, Schreiber was hit with severe septic poisoning. According to court records, he had developed kidney stones that were so large they "caused him to urinate internally".
On 30 March 2015, he fell unconscious and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors brought him back to life by administering epinephrine through an IV.