One thing I keep seeing on TV crime dramas like Law and Order is that the defense and prosecution ask questions of those at the bench for the sake of the jury, at times trying to trigger emotional responses to sway a jury's opinion (i.e. trying to get an accused to lose their temper). However, I have never really seen a juror ask someone at the bench a question.
In a recent Australian case in which the convicted murder's appeal was granted for a lighter sentence the judge commented that
the jury could not properly have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the element of intent to kill or do grievous bodily harm had been proved.
Given this case was about a man who killed his wife (and I have also forgotten some of the facts about the case), when I heard about this I thought "did the jury not think that when you pick up any weapon you have to be fully aware you can take a person's life or do grievous bodily harm with it?"
But then I remembered that in the crime dramas I have seen (probably not a good idea to assume this is how trials work in the real world), the defense and prosecution may not have revealed to the jury when the murder weapon was picked up and the state of mind of the accused moments before said weapon was picked up, tiny facts which on the surface may not mean a lot.
So I am wondering: are juries able to ask questions of those on the bench during a trial? If not, why aren't they, considering that it's the jury who ends up deciding if the accused is innocent or guilty?