Should man accused in shooting of local athlete face the death penalty?

(Updated Sunday, 11:30 am)

26-year-old Kahari Smith has been arraigned on a 2nd degree murder charge for his alleged role in the murder of former Henninger High School standout Kihary Blue. A judge entered a not guilty plea for Smith, who has since been remanded to the Justice Center.

Smith faces federal charges for this crime as well. If convicted of those charges, he would face life in prison or even the death penalty.

(Updated Saturday, 6:30 pm)

Police say Kahari Smith has been charged with 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Smith is currently being held in the Justice Center downtown and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning in city court.

Smith has already been charged on the federal level with Murder in the Aid of Racketeering. If convicted, he would face life in prison and possibly the death penalty.

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The U.S. Attorney's office is pursuing federal charges in the shooting death of local athlete Kihary Blue, and those charges make the shooting a "death penalty eligible crime."

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Katko says a federal indictment has been unsealed to bring federal charges against Kahari Smith, of Syracuse, for the homicide of Blue.

Blue was shot on November 26, 2010, while he was riding in a car on Interstate 81 in Syracuse. Police say they believe the shooting was gang related. Although they don't believe Blue was in a gang, they believe other people in the car were.

Blue was a former Henninger High school star athlete.

The federal charges make the shooting a death penalty eligible crime. Katko says if convicted, Smith would face a mandatory term of life imprisonment, and the U.S. Attorney's office will go through the process to see if Smith should be certified for a death penalty trial.

Smith also faces state charges of 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Do you think the person convicted of this crime should face the death penalty? Post your comments below.