UPDATED: 7/3/2013 – 3:30 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Gov. George Ryan officially became a free man today, a day earlier than expected.
Ryan, 79, was released from home confinement a day early, because his original release date was set for the July 4 holiday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ryan returned to his home in Kankakee with his son, Homer.
“I feel wonderful and I am glad to be home,” Ryan said. “There is no place like home, especially in America.
“Freedom is a great thing and I finally got mine back.”
He said he was looking forward to spending time with his family and possibly giving speeches on his opposition to the death penalty. While governor, Ryan emptied Death Row after concerns about wrongful convictions in capital cases in Illinois.
“I am still trying to get acclimated. I have only been home for about five months.”
Ryan had spent about five years in federal prison, before he was placed on home confinement in January to complete his sentence on corruption charges.