So, in the UK, attacks against people from the emo or goth sub-cultures are now considered 'hate crimes'. Which raised the question with me, really, why do we actually have hate crimes, and why do they tend to carry different sentences to other crimes? Why is a crime not simply a crime in every instance? Why should the crime be different if it's driven by prejudice rather than something else?
Clearly, I don't know a great amount about this topic, but I do know it makes an interesting discussion. So off to Wikipedia I go!