FILE - This file photo provided Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A federal grand jury in Boston returned a 30-count indictment against Tsarnaev on Thursday, June 27, 2013, on charges including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death. (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)
WASHINGTON If the Obama administration tries to seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it will face a long, difficult legal battle with uncertain prospects for success - in a state that hasn't seen an execution in nearly 70 years.
Attorney General Eric Holder will have to decide several months before the start of any trial whether to seek death for Tsarnaev. It is the highest-profile death penalty decision yet to come before the attorney general, who personally opposes executions.
In the past 4½ years, the Justice Department has sought executions in several instances, but none of the administration's cases has yet put someone on death row.