The Supreme Court has turned down the appeal of a Georgia death row defendant who said he went without a lawyer for two years because the state couldn't pay his legal bills.

The case that the justices rejected Monday concerns ongoing money troubles in Georgia's public defender program. Jamie Ryan Weis, who was convicted of killing a 73-year-old woman, argues there was a "complete breakdown" in the system that left him without representation for more than two years.

Prosecutors said Weis was never without legal representation, though they concede his lawyers were limited by a funding shortfall.

The case is Weis v. Georgia, 09-10715.