staff and news service reports
updated 2/23/2004 3:58:00 PM ET 2004-02-23T20:58:00

Two-thirds of Americans polled last month said they support the idea of televising executions — and 21 percent said they’d pay to watch Osama bin Laden put to death.

Eleven percent said they would pay to see Saddam Hussein executed.

A national telephone poll of more than 1,000 people aged 18 or older, done for Trio cable network by Harris Interactive, asked respondents who they would most likely pay to watch executed if executions were shown on pay-per-view television.

Bin Laden, accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, was named by 21 percent of those polled. Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was named by 11 percent.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled said they did not think executions should be televised. And 54 percent said they wouldn’t watch an execution on television.

Harris Interactive interviewed 1,017 Americans aged 18 or older at random Jan. 24-26. The margin of error for the sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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