(WBBM Newsradio) — After 23 years in Illinois prisons for a Cook County rape and murder conviction, two men were freed a month ago after a judge vacated those convictions. Later, charges were dropped.

WBBM’s Steve Miller spoke with one of those men, who is celebrating Christmas — and his new freedom.

“It’s been great hanging with my family and my friends, my grandbabies and my son and my daughter.”

Nevest Coleman, 48, is enjoying and dealing with his new life.

“I’m trying to get used to the new money system, how it looks now. It looks like Monopoly money to me. And trying to work an iPhone. Other than that, everything is well.”

Coleman says he’s still getting used to crowds and the feeling that, after 23 years in prison, he does not have to keep looking over his shoulder.

“I just want everybody to know that the system, it is rough. But once you get out and overcome the system, just keep moving forward, you know?”

Coleman says he has a state ID now. His next step is taking a driving test to get a license.