U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who will be prosecuting the case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is no stranger to the national spotlight. She's taken on a number of high-profile cases during her four-year tenure, and has lately drawn controversy for her no-holds-barred approach.
Here is what you need to know about her:
1) She broke barriers in Massachusetts. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in a New York public housing project, Ortiz made a historic rise in Bay State politics by becoming the first woman and first Hispanic U.S. attorney in Massachusetts. Ortiz was nominated by President Obama for the position in 2009.
Before taking on her current role, she was an attorney in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, an assistant district attorney, and an assistant U.S. attorney, where she gained the attention of then-Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.
2) Several of her federal cases have led to widespread criticism. Aaron Swartz, a cofounder of Reddit and Internet activist, was charged with intellectual property theft in connection with the downloading of millions of research articles from the online academic database JSTOR. The punishment for the crime would have carried a long jail sentence. Prosecutors reportedly told Swartz that he would face a seven-year jail sentence if he did not plead guilty to charges. JSTOR opposed the prosecution.