United States v. Burgee, No. 19-3034 (8th Cir. 2021)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of a state sex offense and subsequently stopped registering as a sex offender. He was indicted for failing to register as a sex offender in federal court, and sought to dismiss the indictment on three grounds. First, the court used an improper methodology to determine whether his offense was one that required registration. Secondly, even if the court used the proper methodology, it should only look to evidence adduced at the plea hearing. Finally, Appellant argued that the federal definition of what required registration was void for vagueness. The trial court denied Appellant’s motion, and Appellant was convicted after a bench trial. Appellant sought review.
Holding: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the trial court properly employed a circumstance-specific approach in determining whether his offense required registration, that it considered reliable evidence in doing so, and that the federal definition of “conduct that by its nature is a sex offense against a minor” is not void for vagueness.