Former Illinois Governor George Ryan is a free man

By WEEK Producer

July 3, 2013 Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 10:18 PM CDT

KANKAKEE, Ill. -- Former Illinois Governor George Ryan has been released from home confinement, and met briefly with reporters Tuesday at his home.

"I feel wonderful. Great to be home. There's no place like home especially in America and freedom's a great thing. I'm glad I got mine back," said former Illinois governor, George Ryan.

The 79 year old Ryan was freed from federal custody one day before his scheduled parole date of July 4th.

He wouldn't talk about the corruption case that sent him to prison.

He did say he would continue to argue against the death penalty.

Nicknamed "Governor Grumpy" for his sometimes gruff demeanor, Ryan showed he hadn't lost his touch.

"How long were you gonna stay if I didn't show up? The last time you were here, I got up at three in the morning and there was a camera on my front stoop looking at my front door. Three in the morning!" said Ryan.

"Are you telling us you want us to go away?" asked a reporter.

"No, you can stay, but I want to tell you, I've heard from the neighbors, 'When are you coming home? Get these bums out of here," said Ryan.

Ryan said he's writing a book and planning a lecture tour.