Whether you are for or against the death penalty, I think we can all agree that current implementation is incredibly flawed (in the US). The system costs millions of dollars and can take up to 20 years to actually carry out the sentence.
After an individual is found guilty of the "ultimate crime," they would be sentenced to the "maximum penalty under the law." The prisoner then has two choices.
Option 1: The prisoner can accept the death penalty, to be carried out within the period of one month, no appeals, no last minute stoppage. Once they sign the dotted line, that's it.
Option 2: The prisoner can accept a sentence of life in prison without parole. 23 hours of each day will be spent in solitude. 1 hour for exercise. They shall have no contact with anyone but prison guards. No tv's, no books, no luxuries.
If the prisoner refuses to choose, the family of the victim gets to decide.
And that's the solution. Obviously its not as black and white as I stated it, and there are many small details that would need to be sorted out. However, I do think this would solve many of the problems that currently plague the death penalty system.