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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

Scott Phillips

Phillips headshot

Scott Phillips

Sturm Hall 408
Phone: 303-871-2059
View CV




areas of expertise/research interests

Capital Punishment and Conflict Management

professional biography

Scott Phillips is a 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, 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; Crime over Time; Criminology; Statistics; and Wrongful Conviction.   

Personal website:


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

selected publications

Phillips, Scott and Justin Marceau. 2020. “Whom the state kills.” Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review 55(2):585-656. 

Phillips, Scott and Mark Cooney.  2015. “The electronic pillory:  Social time and hostility toward capital murderers.”  Law and Society Review 49:725-759. 

Phillips, Scott.  2009. “Status disparities in the capital of capital punishment.”  Law and Society Review 43:807-837. 

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

Phillips, Scott.  2003. “The social structure of vengeance: A test of Black’s model.”  Criminology 41:673-708.