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The civil jury has changed in many ways throughout the years. Remarkably, however, these changes have seldom been structural. Instead, the social functions of the jury and the context in which it operates have changed. Functionally, the jury has moved from fact reporting to fact finding, from deciding both the law and the facts to deciding only the facts, and from being utterly controlled by judges to being relatively independent. Contextually, it now operates in a milieu of eroding institutional authority, sharpened social divisions, and more complex factual and normative disputes.

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