Bill Cosby has just been released from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

As Mr Cosby spent two years in prison on the basis of an incorrect conviction, is he entitled to any compensation under Pennsylvania law, or alternatively, does he have any civil cause of action to gain compensation?

1 Answer 1



Pennsylvania does not offer compensation for wrongful convictions.

At common law, the right to compensation for wrongful convictions only extends to where the state pursued the case maliciously. This is a possibility given that the reason for the appeal court dismissal is that the prosecutor offered Cosby immunity in this matter for his testimony in a trial 15 years ago.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what the situation is in Pennsylvania, but prosecutors are generally absolutely immune from civil liability for malicious prosecution at common law and under Section 1983, so Cosby's probably out of luck there, too.
    – bdb484
    Jul 1, 2021 at 15:26

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