MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jessie Dotson, the man serving time on death row for killing six people, including multiple family members and children in 2008, is appealing his case to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Dotson is serving six death sentences for the infamous Lester Street murders. A judge in 2010 gave him an extra 120 years in prison for what he did to the young children.

Dotson was not in court Wednesday as lawyers representing him made arguments in front of the state Supreme Court.

When people are sentenced to death, it begins a long and expensive process called post-conviction relief. Dotson’s lawyers, who specialize in the process, have an issue with an earlier decision, denying him funding for a mental health evaluation.

The state says the previous denial was “only because of money,” and that his rights were “not violated.”

Courtney Orr, attorney for Tennessee, said, “He has no constitutional right to expert assistance in a post-conviction proceeding.”

But Dotson’s attorney says that’s denying his constitutional right to life, and if that were the case, they’d be able to respond.

“In my experience in capital cases, this was unheard of, that we were denied expert assistance,” said Andrew Harris, Dotson’s attorney. “If we were to be told specifically that we were not permitted a mental health expert in this case because there was an absence of funds, we then could’ve filed a motion or would’ve filed a motion in court to vacate the death sentence.”

Instead, he says he doesn’t know why they denied the funding, and that’s the problem. Justices asked a lot of questions. It’ll be up to them to decide whether Dotson can move forward with these evaluations.

It sets up a potential case for having his death sentence removed. Court officials say they will make a decision in two to four months.