Hopeless case in passing, one released (5)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'hopeless case' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)
'in passing one released' is the subsidiary indication.
'in' says the answer is hidden in the clue.
'goner' can be found hidden inside 'passing one released'.
(Other definitions for goner that I've seen before include "Someone beyond help", "One who can't be saved", "Dead loss", "A person doomed", "Person beyond help", "No-hoper", "Something beyond any chance of recovery", "One without hope", "Someone beyond any hope of recovery" and "Doomed person".)