Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.

In cases that proceed to trial, defense counsel likely could impugn investigators and claim that alternative versions of the crime were ignored and/or errors were made during the investigation as a result of confirmation bias created by the “belief” element of the Start By Believing campaign.

The Start By Believing campaign is most appropriate for non-criminal justice agencies and others not involved in the criminal justice system. While investigations and interviews with victims should always be done in a respectful and trauma-informed manner, law enforcement agencies, and other agencies co-located in advocacy centers, are strongly cautioned against adopting Start By Believing.

If the county attorney has even the slightest concern with the potential legal challenges associated with the Start By Believing campaign, it should not be adopted by law enforcement within that jurisdiction….