For the death penalty to work, it needs to have more clear cut criteria for determining if a case is a death penalty case or not. There is to much discretion allowed for prosecutors to ask for it or not. It should be automatic if the crime fits within the criteria.
It should also require that there is no doubt about the direct physical evidence and eye witness testimony. If the case is mostly circumstantial, it should not be a death penalty case. This should not be a problem with the technology available today.
To go along with that, the billion avenues of appeal need to be cut out, the punishment should be swift, no more than 3-5 years at most. Any appeal must have a basis in real evidence.
Execution should be public.
Lethal injection should be outlawed for being to soft. Bring back sparky, hanging, gas chambers, firing squads, etc., the person should be conscious the instant before their life ends.
While we are on the subject, does anyone have any clue whatsoever as to why, in the state of Texas at least, they swab the injection site before inserting the needle for an execution?
I mean seriously, WTF?