(CBS) – George Ryan was governor of Illinois before he was convicted of corruption and served time in a prison camp.

Now, he’s mounting a nationwide campaign to outlaw the death penalty in the U.S.

As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, Ryan was beating that drum today in Waukegan.

“I was blind to the true nature of justice,” Ryan said before a mostly sympathetic crowd, the Lake County Coalition to Reduce Recidivism, an organization that runs job fairs in order to help ex-offenders find work.

As governor, Ryan, a Kankakee Republican, suspended executions after several Death Row inmates were exonerated or had their convictions overturned. The state Legislature, under Gov. Pat Quinn, eventually abolished the death penalty in the state.