you got life-sentence - you die - you "resurrect" ???

what happens if you got life in prision, you die, you are LEGALLY declared dead and yet you wake (by “miracle”) up the next day?

would you go free or would your death certificate revoked?

could you trick somebody with this game?


I doubt you’d survive the autopsy that would probably be performed on you if you dropped dead of a non-obvious cause. If you can make it through dying and being autopsied and still wake up, then in my opinion you’ve earned your freedom.

No, you’d probably be burned at the stake as a witch. :wink:

I would imagine there’s no case directly on point, but I would hazard a guess that a court would rule that “death” as it pertains to death penalties means “actual permanent cessation of all life functions.”

I’d wager they’ll just kill you again. Maybe do some scientific experiments on you too.

Interesting question, though. In the spirit of the OP, let us suppose you got through all of that, and then STILL came back to life?

You’ve been legally declared dead. No heartbeat, no respiration, no brain waves. You’ve been autopsied and most of your major organs have been removed.

It is 4 days later, and you resurrect in the coffin at your funeral.

What then? Are you free or not? Dead is dead. How can they put you back into the system?

Just wondering…

Last time it happened, they started a religion.

I susspect that laws would be changed to accomodate this new possibility of resurection, but since the law can’t be applied retroactively to you then the existing laws as to what happens to the dead body would still be in place. Whether you would be allowed to appeal against a decision to have you cremated by the state or your next of kin would be an interesting question for the lawyers at that time.

Slight hijack/question:

Why would they (the State) perform an autopsy on you? I thought they only did that in cases where they didn’t know the cause of death. In this case, they gave you the electric chair/lethal injection/whatever… so I think they would know already! = )

I guess my question is, in what cases are autopsies performed/not performed?

Read the OP again. The question is about someone who’s been sentenced to life in prison, not death. If someone just drops dead from a non-obvious cause, it’s more likely that they’ll get autopsied than, say, someone who gets shanked in the shower. The prison is going to want to know if they’re looking at murder or death by natural causes, is there the potential of contagion, etc. Our very own prison doctor may be along to give some more information on when a prisoner gets autopsied.

Oops, you are correct. Thanks, Otto.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately… damn meds.

Isnt their some clause that if you dont die… they try again, and if after twice, you still live… it is actually considered to be the will of god that you are allowed off?


As long as you don’t wake up THREE days later, I guess you would go back in the pen.

Its easier to believe that the persons who declared you dead made a mistake rather than that you came back to life. I’m betting that after some headscratching you would wind up back in prison.

Could you trick somebody with this game? Sure if you could come back to life it would be a neat trick.

Its does happen…

Suddenly Fannikins was down. The crowd gasped as Jockey Ralph Neves hit the track and lay still.

The other horses swept on as track attendants rushed to lift Neves, known as one of the toughest and most courageous riders at Bay Meadows.

There was no sign of life in the jockey, and Dr. J.A. Warburton, track physician, pronounced him dead.

In what seemed a hopeless gesture, Dr. Warburton rushed him to the track hospital and administered a shot of adrenalin, [a] powerful heart stimulant.

Twenty minutes later, in what appeared to be a miraculous recovery, Neves was sitting up and demanding that he be allowed to ride the rest of his races.

I guess the main point, in answering the OP, is whether the law considers your life to have ended when a doctor declares you dead, even if you recover. I can’t believe this would be the case (for starters wouldn’t that mean the jockey in the case above wouldn’t have to pay taxes for the rest of you life).

There’s no law that I know of, but in England there was the case of John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee, who survived three attempts at the death penalty and was later released:

There’s an old (fictional) tale about a penniless railroad conductor who is sentenced to death. After two unsuccessful attempts in the electric chair, they decide he’s just a poor conductor, and they let him go free. :smiley:

Whops AskNott over the head with a raw chicken

Wouldn’t double jeopardy apply? “You sentenced me to death, and I died. You can’t punish me again.”

::: sigh :::

Read the thread title. “you got life-sentence…”

Read the OP. “what happens if you got life in prision…”

While Annie’s wrong, double jeopardy could still come into play, depending on the law’s definition of “life”, and the wording of the sentencing. If the guy is sentenced to “jail until you are dead”, and he’s found to have died, then he has to be let off. If it’s “jail for the rest of your life”, you could probably make a case that it was a “new” life.