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updated: 7/9/2013 10:37 AM

Seeking death penalty in Boston case? A long road

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  • This April 15, 2013 file photo shows medical workers aiding injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston following an explosion. If the Obama administration seeks the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it would face a long, difficult legal battle.

      This April 15, 2013 file photo shows medical workers aiding injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston following an explosion. If the Obama administration seeks the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it would face a long, difficult legal battle.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

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 4 years, the Justice Department has sought executions in several instances, but none of the administration's cases has yet put someone on death row.

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