Boston prosecutors will tell Attorney General Eric Holder this week whether they think marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should face the death penalty.
The feds disclosed the timetable during a status hearing Tuesday. The judge said he wants a final decision from Holder by Jan. 31.
It could be more than a year before Tsarnaev, 20, goes to trial on charges that he built and planted pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the iconic April 15 race.
He was not in court for the hearing, but his lawyers asked the judge lift so-called "special administrative measures" that restrict his contact with the outside world while he's held in federal lockup at Fort Devens.
They also complained that prosecutors have not turned over all the evidence they're supposed to, including information tying their client's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to a 2011 triple homicide.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police during a wild escape attempt after he and his brother were publicly identified as the bombing suspects through video from the marathon route.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a former UMass-Dartmouth student and native of Chechnya, was nabbed in a Boston suburb, hiding in a boat where he allegedly scrawled anti-American messages.
"The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians," "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," and "We Muslims are one body you hurt one you hurt us all" were some of the messages, according to an indictment.