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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

Scott Phillips

Phillips headshot

Scott Phillips

Associate Professor 
Sturm Hall 418
Phone: 303-871-2059
View CV




areas of expertise/research interests

Capital Punishment and Conflict Management

professional biography

Scott Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. He is currently engaged in two lines of scholarship – one empirical, one theoretical.  His empirical research focuses on the arbitrary administration of capital punishment in Texas, and contributes to enduring questions about whether the death penalty is constitutional and just.  His theoretical research focuses on Donald Black’s new and innovative ideas regarding conflict, and contributes to our understanding of how people handle grievances with one another.  He teaches the following courses:  Capital Punishment; Conflict and the Law; Criminology; Statistics; and Wrongful Conviction.   


PhD    Sociology, University of Georgia, 2000
MA     Sociology, Louisiana State University, 1996
BA      History, Texas Christian University, 1993

selected publications

Phillips, Scott and Mark Cooney.  Forthcoming 2015.  “The electronic pillory:  Social time and hostility toward capital murderers.”  Law and Society Review 49 (3).

Lin, Jeffrey and Scott Phillips. 2014. "Media coverage of capital murder: Exceptions sustain the rule." Justice Quarterly 31(5): 934-959.

Phillips, Scott. 2009. "Status disparities in the capital of capital punishment." Law and Society Review 43(4): 807-837.

Phillips, Scott. 2009. "Legal disparities in the capital of capital punishment." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 99(3):717-756.

Phillips, Scott. 2008. "Racial disparities in the capital of capital punishment." Houston Law Review 45(3):807-840.

Phillips, Scott, Jacqueline Hagan, and Nestor Rodriguez. 2006. "Brutal borders? Examining the treatment of deportees during arrest and detention." Social Forces 85(1):93-110.

Phillips, Scott and Mark Cooney. 2005. "Aiding peace, abetting violence: Third parties and the management of conflict." American Sociological Review 70(2):334-354.

Phillips, Scott. 2003. "The social structure of vengeance: A test of Black's model." Criminology 41(3):673-708.

Phillips, Scott and Ryken Grattet. 2000. "Judicial rhetoric, meaning-making, and the institutionalization of hate crime law." Law and Society Review 34 (3):567-606.