Darrel Parker, now 79 and living in Moline, Ill., says in his lawsuit that authorities coerced him into confessing he killed his 21-year-old wife, Nancy.
Parker was convicted of first-degree murder and served 13 years in prison. He was pardoned in 1991.
The lawsuit filed this past week in Lancaster County District Court seeks $500,000.
Parker had filed a claim earlier this year under Nebraska's wrongful-conviction law but didn't get a response. That cleared the way for his lawsuit.
The Nebraska Attorney General's Office declined to comment on the lawsuit.