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 "No-hoper", "Person beyond saving", "dead duck", "he's bought it", "person about to depart", "Lost cause", "Someone beyond any hope of recovery", "Hopeless case", "One beyond help" and "Someone beyond help".)