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Most studies posit and identify a linear and negative relationship between democracy and the violation of human rights. Some research challenges this finding, however, suggesting that nonlinear influences exist. Within this article, we examine the structure of the relationship between democracy and repression during the time period from 1976 to 1996. To conduct our analysis, we utilize diverse statistical approaches which are particularly flexible in identifying influences that take a variety of functional forms (specifically LOESS and binary decomposition). Across measures and methodological techniques, we found that below a certain level, democracy has no impact on human rights violations, but above this level democracy influences repression in a negative and roughly linear manner. The implications of this research are discussed within the conclusion.